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Can I be terminated for receiving a large sum of money?

Dallas, TX |

I recently received a seven figure amount from an inheiritence. I have been employed with this company for over 19 years with numerous awards. I was appoached by two co-workers, one being higher up, about a loan. Well, I refused stating I was not going to become an ATM machine. Well to cut to the chase, after 1 week after the refusal of the loan I received a letter requesting my resignation. I asked why and was simply told it was in my best interest due to the resentment I was causing in the worklace. I refused and simply was terminated. Any legal advice? Thanks.

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Attorney answers 4


Contact an attorney in your local area. Make sure the attorney is experienced in the area of Texas employment law. Bring with you to the appointment any documentation you may have about your employment (any union contract, employment contract, w-2's, and the documentation of your workplace awards) also including the request for resignation and the termination notice.

You should be able to find an attorney willing to consult with you for free. Generally, you should not pay an attorney on an hourly basis to bring a claim on your behalf. It should be undertaken on a contingent fee basis, assuming that you do not want to be reinstated.

Your coworkers may not be the only people who might size you up for an ATM machine. Protect the money well and if this situation looks like it will last a long while get another job.

Jason A. Richman, Esq.


It depends if your state is an "at will" state, meaning that you can be fired for any reason. However, if your termination is legally deemed or considered to be "retaliatory dismissal", then you may have a cause of action. You need to check /w an experienced labor attorney in your area.


Texas is an "at will" state and your employer can fire you without much recourse. However, that is a very general statement and employment law is a very niche practice that requires someone who spends the majority of their time practicing employment law. Therefore, I would look for someone who specializes in employment law. You may have options, but you need some good advice to find out those options, if any.


The first thing you should do is see if you have an employment contract with your current employer and what are the conditions for termination. If your employer did not violate any of those conditions, or if you don't have an employment contract, then you likely will have a tough case to pursue against your former employer. The exception is if you were fired for some reason that is protected under the Civil Rights act like race or religion. But I would definitely discuss the matter in more detail with a competent attorney in your area.
Thank You,
Walter Kane M.D., J.D.