Termination of Employment (Employee/Employer)
Wrongful Termination Issues Affecting Frisco & Plano Employees, Employers
Texas follows the at-will employment doctrine, which means both the employee and employer can terminate the employment relationship at any time and without cause in most cases. However, Texas statutes apply a public policy exception and recognize contractual agreements that overcome the at-will status.
Albin Roach’s North Texas employment lawyers defend the rights of workers against wrongful termination. We also represent businesses that have fired employees for just cause or had a legal right to fire an employee under the at-will doctrine.
Workers’ Civil Rights
Federal and state statutes prohibit discrimination or harassment on the basis of an employee’s protected class, including:
- National origin
- Age 40 or older
- Genetic information
Discriminatory acts include decisions that affect employment, such as termination of an employee because of her or his membership in the protected class. In addition, companies are banned from retaliating against an employee who complains about discrimination or harassment or who files a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or Texas Workforce Commission.
Public Policy Exceptions to Termination
Public policy exceptions protect you from unlawful termination regardless of your at-will employment status. Examples of when a public policy might bar termination include situations in which:
- Your employer fired you because you filed a workers’ compensation complaint
- You refused to commit an illegal act
- You blew the whistle on your employer’s illegal activities
- You filed a grievance alleging your coworker or supervisor sexually harassed you
- Your employer terminated you because you became pregnant
- You were discriminated against based of your membership in one of the protected classes
- Your employer fired you in violation of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Protections for Businesses Under Employment Contract
As an employer in an at-will state, you are typically entitled to cut your staff whenever necessary. The downside is that your workers can leave you on a moment’s notice. This can be especially problematic if your business employs skilled labor or specialists that require substantial experience and extensive training. An employment contract allows you to recruit and maintain qualified workers. A well-drafted contract also protects you should your employee fail to meet expectations.
Our North Texas employment lawyers draft employment contracts that include language that clearly defines appropriate causes for termination – for example, the employee fell short of sales goals for X number of quarters or the employee acted in a manner that violated your company’s expressed standards of conduct.
Should you need to fire an employee, we offer advice on remaining in compliance with your contract terms and help you collect and organize documentation that prove cause for termination.
Learn More About Wrongful Termination in an At-Will State
Albin Roach represents employees who have been wrongfully terminated and employers that are accused of violating public policy or contract. Call our North Texas employment lawyers at 214-423-5100 or contact us online for assistance with your case in Plano or Frisco.