Wrongful Termination and At Will Employment
On both the state and federal level, this country has many laws in place to protect the rights of workers. Employment laws are intended to provide fair compensation to workers, allow for safe working conditions, and allow workers to perform their duties without harassment or discrimination.
In addition, workers are protected from wrongful termination, or being fired for reasons that are protected by employment laws and policies.
In the state of Texas, all employment is presumed at will, unless explicitly stated otherwise. As at will employees, many workers mistakenly believe that they do not have any legal options if they have been wrongfully terminated.
Experienced employment law attorney Dan A. Atkerson can handle cases involving wrongful termination and at will employment in the Dallas, TX area.
What Is At Will Employment?
At will employment essentially means that there is no obligation for either an employer or employee to stay in a working relationship. Either party has the right to terminate the relationship at any time without giving notice and without providing a reason for the termination.
In all but the state of Montana, it is presumed that all employees are at-will, unless it can be proven otherwise through written documents or oral statements pertaining to employment.
How Can an At Will Employee Be Wrongfully Terminated?
Based on the definition of at will employment, it is difficult to understand how any employee could ever be classified as wrongfully terminated. However, there are exceptions to at will employment.
Even though an employer does have the right to terminate employees, they cannot do so if the termination goes against public policy, an implied contract, or anti-discrimination laws.
There are many examples of wrongful termination:
- Being fired after filing a worker’s compensation claim
- Being fired after reporting sexual harassment or an unsafe work environment
- Being fired based on reasons of gender, race, age, or disability
- Being fired as an act of malice or retaliation
- Being fired after taking legally allowed family or medical leave
- Being fired after taking time to serve in the military or to serve on a jury
- Being fired after seeking payment for overtime hours
Working with an Attorney
If you suspect that you have been wrongfully terminated, you should consult an experienced employment law attorney, such as Dan Atkerson. Mr. Atkerson can look at the details of the situation to determine if a worker’s rights have been violated. If the employee has been wrongfully terminated, they have a legal right to seek compensation for any related damages, including lost income.
If you have recently been fired and you have questions about the legality of your termination, contact us at your earliest convenience. Attorney Dan A. Atkerson can evaluate your situation and let you know your best course of legal action. Call (214) 383-3606 to learn more.