More companies are returning to “normal” day-to-day business, which means more workers are also returning to the office. One example was in June 2022 when Tesla CEO Elon Musk sent a memo to employees saying that all Tesla employees were required to work a minimum of 40 hours in an office each week and if they did not, “show up, we will assume you have resigned.” This contradicts many other companies that have gone to completely remote work or a hybrid model.
While there may be disagreements about whether an employee performs better or prefers to work in an office or remote setting, a debate does arise about whether employees can be forced to go into an office versus working from home.
Texas Employees Are “At-Will”
Most employees across the nation, including those in Texas, are considered “at-will.”This means that an employer can terminate an employee at any time and for any reason, with or without cause. Similarly, an employee can quit their job anytime and for any reason. This flexibility can benefit both employers and employees as it allows each to end the relationship if it is no longer working out. However, the at-will relationship can also be disadvantageous, as it gives employers a great deal of power over their employees and little recourse for unjustly fired employees.
There are a few exceptions to the at-will rule. For example, an employee may have an employment contract that sets forth specific terms of employment, including duration of employment and grounds for termination. Additionally, an employer may not fire an employee based upon a protected status such as whistle-blowing.
Even in cases where the at-will rule applies, an employer must still act by other laws, such as those prohibiting harassment or discrimination.
How Kennard Law, P.C. Can Help
If you have questions about your at-will work status or whether your employer is treating you fairly or not, the team at Kennard Law, P.C. is here to help. Review how we have helped past clients with their employment legal matters and contact us to see what we can do about your case. (855) 499-4514