Texas law provides very limited reasons why you can challenge a discharge or termination from your job as a wrongful discharge or wrongful termination. Most people are aware that Texas is an “at-will” or “right to work” state in which your employer can terminate your job for almost any reason. Texas and federal law provides a few reasons why you cannot be discharged. If you have been terminated for a prohibited reason or a reason that violates the law you may have a legal remedy to be rehired or compensated for lost wages and benefits under a wrongful discharge or wrongful termination claim. If this sounds like your situation then you should contact wrongful termination lawyer Adam Kielich right away using the contact form below or by calling 817-857-1123.
Refusal to perform a criminal act in Texas
Texas law prohibits an employer from firing an employee when the employer requests the employee commit an illegal act and the employee refuses. In Texas this wrongful discharge claim is considered an exception to the “at-will” employment doctrine and is often referred to as the public policy exception or Sabine Pilot exception after the lawsuit establishing the exception.
Under this wrongful termination claim, your employer must require you to commit the illegal act. It is not enough that your employer suggests it or makes a demand but does not fire you for refusing to commit the illegal act. Basically, your employer must make you choose between committing the criminal act or losing your job. Texas also protects your right, when demanded to perform an illegal act, to take steps to determine whether the request actually contains illegal acts. That means you have the right to contact the police or appropriate regulatory agencies to determine whether you are legally permitted to perform the requested act.
Whistleblower protections in Texas
Texas and federal law protects your right to alert the proper authorities to certain illegal acts by your employer. Not all whistleblowing is protected, only certain types of whistleblowing are protected. Some of the protected types include: