Texas Wrongful Termination Lawyers
Many states, including Texas, are “employment at-will” states. In general, employment at-will means that an employer can legally terminate an employee for any lawful reason at any time. However, this does not allow an employer to fire an employee for any reason at all. If an employer terminates an employee for an unlawful reason, the termination is often called a “wrongful termination.” There are many reasons that the law considers a termination wrongful. For example, wrongful terminations can include:
- Situations in which the employer breaks the terms of the employee’s contract by firing him or her.
- If the firing is motivated by illegal discrimination.
- When the employer retaliates against a worker who files a workers’ compensation claim.
- If the firing is meant to serve as retaliation against a whistleblower complaint or an employee who refuses to perform an illegal act.
The laws that govern these claims often require that an employee file a claim within a certain amount of time and often with a particular state or federal agency. If the employee does not file in time, he or she may not be able to take the case to court. To ensure that your rights are protected, it is important that you contact an experienced employment law attorney. Connect with the Leichter Law Firm PC by calling (956) 205-0884 to see how a qualified lawyer can help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Wrongful Termination FAQs
What exactly is employment at will?
Texas employment law follows a doctrine called “employment at will.” Employment at will means that, without a direct agreement, such as an employee contract, any party in the employment relationship can change the nature of that relationship without any reason or advance notice. As an employee, you can quit without legal consequences. Additionally, an employer could make you part time, change your schedule, or fire you without breaking the law. Many Texas workers assume that this means their employer can fire them for any reason whatsoever, but federal and state laws do place boundaries on the employment at will doctrine. For example, your employer cannot discriminate against you or fire you for being part of a union.
What can I get if I win my wrongful termination case?
Many people wonder if it’s worth it to take their old employer to court for wrongful termination. Far too many workers assume that a court case would take too much time and result in an overall monetary loss. However, if you have been wrongfully terminated, you can hire skilled attorneys to handle the case and to recover substantial monetary recompense for you and your loved ones. If you have been unfairly fired, the court could award you financial compensation and other benefits. You could be reinstated at your job, given back pay as well as future pay, promoted, or given punitive damages meant to dissuade the company from future illegal actions. An experienced Texas wrongful termination attorney can help you decide whether it would be in your best interest to carry through with a lawsuit.
I refused to do a job I thought was unsafe, and I was fired. Was that wrongful termination?
Employers are legally forbidden to force their workers to perform tasks that could be considered life-threatening or unsafe. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) lays out guidelines for employers and employees to handle safety hazards at a work site. The employee should inform their manager or boss about the immediate danger, and the employer should correct the issue. Sometimes employers will refuse to fix a safety problem and even fire workers who refuse to perform a dangerous task. Employees have even been terminated because they reported a problem to OSHA. This is grounds for a wrongful termination suit, and you should contact legal counsel immediately.