Wrongful Termination Discrimination
When someone is terminated from employment, they immediately wonder if they may have been “wrongfully terminated”. To assess if an employee may have been “wrongfully terminated”, the starting point to analyze a case begins with the Texas legal concept known as “employment at will”. If you have questions or think you have a case, then contact a San Antonio wrongful termination lawyer at the Law Office of Jeffrey A. Goldberg today.
What is Employment At Will?
Employment at will in Texas is a simple concept used by employers to terminate employees. An employer in Texas may terminate an employee “at will”. This means the company does not need a reason to terminate an employee. In fact, an employer may terminate an employee with no reason, a good reason, or even reasons that may not make much sense. Employees certainly can expect to be given a reason, or reasons, why they may be terminated, but a Texas employer is not required to give one. In addition, the employer is not required to have “good cause”, or a good reason, to terminate an employee. The employer does not need to provide the employee with notice of termination and may terminate an employee effective immediately. Therefore, in general, an employer in Texas may terminate an employee “at will”, with or without a reason and with or without notice. For help understanding the nuances of employment law, contact a San Antonio wrongful termination lawyer today.
For employees, the Texas at-will concept allows the employee to terminate the employment relationship as well. The employee does not need to give notice of termination, or resignation, but many employees believe giving the employer “two weeks notice” is the professional and right thing to do. There are certain situations an employee should consider giving notice of separation or termination, particularly if the employee has had a good working relationship with the employer and the employer has been good to the employee. However, there is no legal requirement that the employee give a reason for termination, nor give notice of separation or termination.
Employment at will is a two -way street—the employer can terminate the employee, with or without notice or reason; and the employee can leave at any time, with or without notice or reason.
Employees do enjoy legal protections from being terminated “at will”. Those protections stem from Federal, State and Judicially created law that provide employees protections from “wrongful termination”.
Our San Antonio Wrongful Termination Lawyer is here to help you
“Wrongful termination” is a generic term. Anytime someone is terminated, they may immediately feel as though they may have been “wrongfully terminated”. As a Board-Certified Labor and Employment attorney, wrongful termination has a more specific meaning based upon laws that protect employees from termination.
State and Federal laws are designed to protect employees from being demoted, discriminated against or terminated because of protected traits and characteristics. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and its amendments, for example, protects employees from being terminated because of:
- or National Origin.
Texas State laws have similar protections in the Texas Labor Code. The Texas State and Federal laws also protect against discrimination and retaliation. An employer may not retaliate and demote or terminate an employee because the employee may have complained about discrimination in the workplace. There are several protections in Texas State and Federal law designed to protect employees from such discrimination, retaliation and termination.
Protections For Employees in San Antonio and Texas
In addition to Texas State and Federal laws that provide protection to employees, Texas judges have created protections for employees as well. For example, if an employee refuses to commit an illegal act on behalf of the employer, and that illegal act carries a criminal penalty, if the employer uses that refusal as the sole basis to terminate the employee, then the employee has been wrongfully terminated.
There are other protections for employees from being terminated at will. If an employee has an employment contract, then the contract may require certain prerequisites that take place prior to the employee being terminated. For example, the employment contract may provide that the employer notifies the employee of any problems with work product, or work performance, and allow the employee an opportunity to cure any such deficiencies before termination may take place. Employment contracts may also require that the employee be given progressive discipline prior to termination. Typical employees who may have an employment contract include physicians and executives. It is important to have a Board- Certified Labor and Employment attorney review any employment agreement to ensure the employee, physician or executive is not terminated in violation of any employment contract, or otherwise wrongfully terminated.
Although Texas is an “at-will” state which allows the employer, or the employee, to terminate the employment relationship at any time, for any reason, there are a number of legally recognized protections under Texas State and Federal law, and judicially created law, that protects the employee from “wrongful termination”.
Contact An Experienced Wrongful Termination Lawyer in San Antonio
If you believe you may have been wrongfully terminated, contact our Board- Certified Labor and Employment attorney who dedicates his practice to representing employees and executives and offers a free, confidential case evaluation. You may complete the case evaluation on-line, or contact the firm directly at 210-690-2200.