About to Complain to Management? Think Big Picture.

If you are gearing up to give management an earful tomorrow about all the wrongs they have been committing, please give some thought to the big picture before you head off to give your speech.  Especially if you are right, and you have stacks of documents proving you are right.

Being right is not enough.  If your employer thinks the sky is green, and fires you because you insist it is blue, you may be right but you are still fired.  And if you intend on proving (to the point of a legal judgment) that the sky is in fact blue, you have at least a few years of litigation, and a few years of significant expense, to look forward to.  

Most companies know this.   They know they hold your cards– they hold your job and income, and they can take it away.   Abruptly.  If they fire you, they know you will have no income, and that you’ll probably need income if you wish to enforce your legal rights.  They know litigation takes years to complete, and they know they will likely have much more money to pay toward litigation than an individual like you does.

Are you thinking about all these dynamics when you’re planning to confront your manager?  

Now, it’s true that if you complain about your employer’s wrongdoing, there are laws that protect against retaliation.  There are also laws that prohibit speeding and Bernie Madoff-ing, and you can see how effective those laws are as applied to reality.  Sometimes those laws are effective– sometimes wrongdoers get caught and don’t squirm out of a significant legal penalty, but too often the real-life penalties do not turn out like the wronged person would like to think.

Before you give your manager an earful, make sure you have a back-up plan if they fire you.  A real back-up plan.  A new job lined up.  A large nest egg saved up.  Advice from a competent and value-conscious attorney, telling you what potential legal claims and options you have.

But if you believe that simply being right is enough, you are rolling the dice.

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Filed under Employee Tip - Considering a Legal Action, Employee Tip - Problems at Job

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