It is always a major concern of Texas employees facing illegal/inappropriate conduct at work to take any steps to protect themselves, whether it is complaining to their boss, human resources, filing a claim or charge with a government agency, or filing a lawsuit, for fear of retribution or loss of work. There is no avoiding it. If your employer engages in illegal behavior, there is a very good chance complaining will make your situation worse. In many cases the law requires you to notify your supervisor or human resources before you can file a claim with a government agency or file suit. Employment lawyers in Texas understand this process and can help employees make the best moves to protect their claims and jobs.
Even though many employment laws make retaliation for complaining or filing a claim a separate offense, it doesn’t stop retaliation. This is why many employees do not file claims until after they leave their employer. It is also why many employees leave otherwise good jobs for other employers.
Should you fight for your job in Texas?
Clearly, it is not right for employees to have to leave a job because the employer fails to execute its duties under the law. There may be many reasons for employees not to want to leave (for example pay, benefits, hours, job duties) and there may not be other positions available that provide those same perks. In this job market, it could be months before a new job can even be found. For this reason, many workers chose to defend their rights at the risk of retaliation, wrongful termination, or career suicide. Unfortunately sometimes workers do destroy their careers, suffer retaliation and lose their jobs.
What is the right call?
Whether an employee should take action without intending to leave the employer is an individual question. Surely it is in the interest of fair working conditions for employees to expose violations of employment laws. On the other hand, individual employees have bills, families to support and careers to consider. Many employment laws permit recovery of lost wages. Even in the most successful of cases it can sometimes be months or years before recovery. Most people cannot afford to lose that much pay.
However, those working conditions may be so terrible that scraping by may be the lesser of two evils. As I said, there is no magic answer.