In a previous post, we discussed the at-will employment doctrine--which allows most Texas employers to fire their employees for almost any reason. We also outlined the core federal exemptions to this doctrine.
"At-will employment" means that an employer may fire an employee at their own discretion and for virtually any reason. The termination can be without warning, and the employer is not required by law to pay severance to the employee.
Even the most careful employees have a chance of getting hurt on the job. It is illegal for a Texas company to react negatively toward workers who have gotten injured; nevertheless, some still do. A man who worked for a restaurant owned by Landry's Inc. claims that he was fired as an act of retaliation after filing for workers' compensation.
Large corporations hire thousands of people. Inevitably, despite all of the safety information, some workers in Texas and elsewhere are going to get hurt. The injured employees, in turn, fill out workers' compensation paperwork so that they are able to receive covered medical care and income while they are taking time away to heal. Some companies decide to fire the employees instead, prompting the worker to file a wrongful termination claim.
Doing the right thing is not always easy, but reporting wrongdoing normally does not result in workers being fired; nevertheless, that is what a former fast food employee claims happened with regard to her employment. The woman worked for fast food giant KFC -- which has locations in Texas and across the country -- as well as Tri-State Food Systems and claims that she was fired for reporting illegal activity concerning one of her co-workers. She believes that her termination was an act of retaliation. The plaintiff claims that while she was working, she observed a co-worker receiving marijuana from someone through the window of the drive-thru station. After seeing the transaction, she claims she told her co-worker to throw the drugs away.
Safety is a major concern in most businesses, principally to ensure that employees and customers are not injured. Texas workers who notice that safety precautions are not being followed as they should may voice their concerns in the hopes of having the problems corrected. This type of behavior is not always rewarded, and there are instances when the employees may face retaliation in the form of a wrongful termination instead.
In most companies, there are programs that provide guidelines for supervisors regarding proper etiquette in speaking to employees and what type of language is considered unacceptable. If an employee hears a manager saying something that is inappropriate, he or she may choose to report the remarks in an effort to prevent a hostile workplace. However, this behavior is not always rewarded, and a Texas worker could become the victim of retaliation and suffer a wrongful termination instead.
There are some people who have a desire to ensure that animals are treated properly. As a result, they choose to go into a field that involves providing care for animals. Unfortunately, one veterinarian in Texas claims in a wrongful termination suit that he was fired for looking after the best interests of the animals he was hired to protect.