Wrongful termination (or wrongful discharge) occurs when an employee is wrongly fired by his or her employer. Wrongful termination can be based on several theories, such as breach of an employment contract or protection given under the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989.
In general, your employer can discipline or fire you for pretty much anything they want, as long as it’s not because of your race, gender, religion, national origin, or membership in another protected class and as long as it does violate a handful of other narrowly defined protections.
Texas follows the at-will employment doctrine, which means they do not have a formal employment contract with their employer. This means their employment may be ended at any time. In other cases, employees have signed a written contract that contains an “at will” clause stating an employee can be terminated for any reason without cause. But even “at will” employees have certain rights against a wrongful termination and can not be fired for reasons that violate public policy, or the law.
In most circumstances, an employer can fire an employee for virtually any reason, or no reason at all, without the firing being considered “wrongful” in the eyes of the law. Without an employment contract to the contrary, no job is guaranteed. While federal and state law provide some protection for employees – such as prohibiting discrimination and harassment – many employees find themselves facing what most people would consider a wrongful termination, but which the courts do not.
If you believe that you have been wrongfully terminated, contact us to speak with an attorney.