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What does it mean to be an "at will" employee and what constitute being descriminated at work?

Dallas, TX |

If my boss doesnt like me, I can get fired just like that? What are my rights when it comes to being an "at will" employee?

Attorney Answers 3


I am not licensed to practice law in Texas so the following should not be taken as legal advice, but simply as information based on general principles of law which is intended to educate. If you need legal advice, please consult a lawyer who holds Texas licensure.

At will employment means you can be fired for any reason, including a foolish one, except as to those reasons the law says are impermissible (gender, race, national origin, religion, color, age, etc.). There are a few other reasons that the law says just aren't allowed, such as retaliation for filing a worker's comp claim, reporting crime to the police, or cooperating with a sexual harassment investigation. But apart from those rare exceptions, that's it. If you are an at will employee and your boss doesn't like you, he can fire you. He can fire you because you chew Dentyne and he doesn't like gum chewers. He can fire you because he doesn't like your haircut or the color of your socks.

Good luck.

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An at will employee can be fired because the employer does not like the employee's shoe laces.

Only if a protected class discriminatory reason is one used to fire an at will employee would be one that may give some protection.

You might read my Legal Guide "What is a Civil Right?"

Good luck to you.

NOTE: This answer is made available by the lawyer for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney that practices in the subject practice discipline and with whom you have an atttorney client relationship along with all the privileges that relationship provides. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question.

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These comments are made for educational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship exists between us.

Sorry, you don't have any rights because you are working without a formal written contract. Anti-discrimination laws do not guaranty civility in the workplace.

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