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I am or may have already been terminated based on something that is not a terminable offense. Do I have any legal recourse?

Arlington, TX |

My boss and another employee wanted to talk to me about some errors found on paperwork I had turned in to him for review that morning. When I arrived in the room for the meeting he spoke loud enough to be considered yelling and threatened my employment. He said the paperwork I turned in to him he considered a slap in the face because I didn't verbally double check them as he previously asked me to and that this was exactly what happened on another shipment in which he gave me a written warning on a few days prior. I tried to explain that this shipment had not left and the purpose of a double check is to ensure there are no errors but it was pointless. He was furious and later that afternoon he put me on suspension pending review by HR.

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

In Texas, there is no such thing as "not a terminable offense." Texas is an employment at will state. Typically, unless an employee has an employment contract, or is employed under a collective bargaining agreement through a union, the employer can modify or terminate the employment at any time with or without cause. If an employer, at any time, decides they no longer want to employ someone, for any non-discriminatory reason, that employee can legally be terminated. However, an employer generally cannot modify or terminate the employment for prohibited discriminatory reasons (such as racial discrimination), or in retaliation for certain protected actions (such as whistle-blowing). The situation you describe does not appear to constitute prohibited discrimination or retaliation.

Your question has been answered as a courtesy. This is not paid legal advice. Nothing in this communication is intended to create an attorney-client relationship. Unless expressly stated otherwise, nothing contained in this message should be construed as a digital or electronic signature, nor is it intended to reflect an intention to make an agreement by electronic means.

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3 comments

Asker

Posted

There are other facts but I am unsure if it would make a difference. The space provided only allowed so much and it was shortened as much as possible.

William Fulton Broemer

William Fulton Broemer

Posted

You can add facts here under comments. However, unless the employer was engaging in prohibited conduct (as described above), there is probably going to be no recourse. As I tell clients all the time, it's illegal to engage in certain types of discrimination, but it ain't illegal to be a jerk. Good luck.

Asker

Posted

Thank you Mr. Broemer, I appreciate you taking the time to answer my question.

Posted

Based on the facts you have provided it does not sound like you have any legal protections for your employment. However, other facts left out of your description may change the analysis.

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

There are other facts but I am unsure if it would make a difference. The space provided only allowed so much and it was shortened as much as possible.

Asker

Posted

Wednesday July 3rd I was put on suspension and was told to wait until HR was back from vacation next week to determine the outcome. It was implied that I would be terminated. This morning HR called me to get additional details. She specifically asked me if I took any company property, I replied only my personal things. She then asked if I took any passwords whereas I told her I had about 20 passwords and kept them on a list and yes it was with my papers. HR seemed optimistic and said she would get back with me in the next day or so. An hour later she called to confirm my termination. When asked why she said she could not tell me. She did say I would receive a package in a few days with a letter that goes over what we talked about, I asked if the letter would explain why I was terminated and she said the company does not do that. Until the 3rd of July I was told my employment status was good so this came as a rather surprise. My passwords consisted of many that I used for company related work on sites that I chose of my own will to help me do my job however only a small fraction were issued by the company or customer for use on their sites. These passwords are available to 2 other inspectors and are updated frequently. If they had asked me for them I would have gladly provided them with the list, it did not occur to me when I packed up my belongings that these were included in my personal papers. During our talk, HR said I was cited for insubordination then brought up stealing company property after that. If this is what I was terminated for are they liable for slander? I have requesting a copy of my training, evaluation and counseling records for the past 7 years of employment. Also any information from my personnel file that is not in violation of the privacy act. She sent me an email stating she would forward the information to me this week.

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