Under state law, employment in Texas is “at-will,” giving both the employer and the employee the right to terminate their working relationship, with or without reason and with or without notice, at any time. You may believe that this prevents you from bringing a wrongful termination action against an employer who acts unfairly in dismissing you from your job. However, we at the Law Offices of Kell A. Simon inform you that this is not necessarily true. While at-will employment may limit your options as it relates to wrongful termination, if your dismissal was unlawful, you have the ability to seek recourse.
Even in an at-will employment state, your employer still has a responsibility to abide by state and federal employment laws. In other words, he or she must maintain fair practices in personnel matters, not discriminating on the basis of one or more protected statuses, such as age, disability, gender, race or religion. It is against the law for an employer to either fire or to refuse to hire someone on the basis of these factors.
Your boss cannot fire you in retaliation for doing something that is not against the rules but causes trouble or inconvenience for your employer. For example, you cannot legally lose your job over whistleblowing, i.e., reporting wrongdoing by your employer to the authorities. This is true regardless of whether or not the wrongdoing affected you directly.
Other forms of unlawful employer retaliation include firing you for refusing to do something illegal on the company’s behalf, for requesting pay for overtime hours worked or for filing a workers’ compensation claim. You have the right to do any and all of these things, and it is against the law for you to lose your job over them. More information about wrongful termination is available on our website.