What is Considered Wrongful Termination in San Antonio, TX?

In Texas, a written employment contract is vital to ensuring the rights of both the employee and employer. Texas is known as an “employment at will” state. Most states operate under the “employment at will” doctrine. This policy is set in place to serve and protect both employees and employers. At-will employment implies that an employer has the legal right to terminate an employee for any lawful reason. A lawful termination can be executed at any time.

Yet, the key word here is “lawful”. If an employer terminates a worker for an unlawful reason, or simply an unjustified reason, it is likely a wrongful termination.

Lawful termination in Texas may depend on the components of the employment contract. But, if an employee is let go for any discriminatory reason, it becomes an unlawful termination.

If you or someone close to you has been wrongfully terminated from their job in San Antonio, we advise you to discuss your circumstances with a wrongful termination lawyer promptly. We’ve faced wrongful termination claims for over 30 years at Galo Law Firm. Our team of lawyers has adapted through the times and has consistently protected our clients from the injustices of unlawful termination.

Our attorneys have a dedication to employment law and have witnessed a wide variety of employment-oriented cases. At Galo Law Firm, we have seen countless circumstances of employment discrimination, sexual harassment, breach of contract, and other variations of wrongful termination.

Our San Antonio wrongful termination attorneys can help assemble and pursue your wrongful termination claim against your former employer. We are committed to protecting employees’ rights to the fullest extent.

If you have found yourself a victim of wrongful termination in San Antonio, contact our law firm today to set up an initial evaluation.

Contact us at 210-361-8043 today to speak with an employment attorney in San Antonio.

What are Unlawful Reasons to Terminate?

The employment-at-will labor law tends to be at the heart of wrongful termination lawsuits. Employers mistakenly believe that they are entitled to fire a worker for absolutely any at-will reason.

However, federal and state laws indicate that firing an employee for any unlawful reason constitutes wrongful termination and can be punished as an illegal act.

Wrongful Termination Through Discrimination

To prove wrongful dismissal based on discriminatory grounds, a claim must identify the discrimination the employee has been subjected to. Most cases of unlawful termination are associated with discrimination based on race, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or age.

Discrimination may involve the following:

  • Pregnancy or childbirth
  • Medical conditions
  • Marital status
  • Religion
  • Race, nationality, or color of the skin
  • Age
  • Veteran or military status
  • Gender, sex, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation
  • Physical or mental disability

Other Common Variations of Wrongful Termination

  • Termination for whistleblowing or reporting other violations in the workplace
  • Retaliation following an employee complaint or report regarding a violation of the law
  • Complaints involving: safety violations, unpaid dues, labor law violations, discrimination, and harassment
  • Political beliefs or political involvement of the employee
  • Requests for time off permitted by federal law, such as the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Disobeying the WARN Act (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification), which mandates sufficient warning before mass layoffs
  • Constructive termination or in other terms, when an employer neglects working conditions to the point of forcing an employee to quit
  • When an employee is the victim of sexual assault, stalking, or domestic violence and misses work due to obtaining a protective order
  • Firing an employee for not participating in an illegal activity
  • The employee filed a worker’s compensation claim

If you have been terminated from your employment for any of the above reasons, or variations of them, we urge you to seek counsel from our experienced wrongful termination attorneys.

Our legal team can work to build a wrongful termination lawsuit against your former employer, helping you reinstate your employment or attain fair compensation for your breached rights.

What are the penalties and damages for unlawful termination in Texas?

If you believe that you have been wrongfully terminated in Texas, you may be entitled to recover damages for your suffering. Employees may be searching to reinstate their employment through a wrongful termination claim, but on top of getting a job back, a worker may be entitled to compensation for their unlawful termination.

These damages can span from:

Economic damages: Damages sought to cover the financial loss experienced due to the termination. Economic damages may include lost wages (both past and future) and lost benefits.

Compensatory damage: Through a compensation claim, you may recover any damages stemming from the physical or mental suffering endured due to termination. This can include medical costs or therapy.

Punitive damages: In the case that a former employer actively violated the law, you may be able to claim punitive damages. These damages are used as a punitive measure to condone unlawful behavior from employers.

A wrongful termination case can be difficult to prove. Typically, employers have more access to resources to support their defense. With the help of a skilled employment lawyer, you can uphold your rights and recover maximum compensation for the suffering you have endured.

How Do You Prove Wrongful Termination?

Wrongful termination by discrimination

For wrongful termination cases based on discrimination, it must be proven that:

  1. The employee belongs to a protected class.
  2. The employee reached their job performance expectations.
  3. The employee has been subject to unlawful termination.
  4. There are similarly ranked co-workers who are not in the same protected class and have received better treatment from the employer.

Once an employee supplies proof to back these four core components in their case, it is time for the employer’s response. The employer can defend the termination by proving a justifiable and legitimate reason for firing the employee.

If an employer is successful in providing a just reason for the termination, then the former employee must define a “motivating factor” to prove the termination was discrimination-based. An employer can contest the motivating factor by proving the employee would be subject to termination regardless of their protected class.

Wrongful Termination by Retaliation

The termination of an employee may be the result of unlawful retaliation from an employer. Unlawful relation occurs when an employer takes adverse actions against a worker for participating in legally protected acts. This can involve informing your employers of sexual harassment, attempting to organize a labor union, requesting medical leave, attending jury duty, military service, or conducting a legal investigation into the business of employment.

To prove a wrongful termination case based on retaliation, an employee must prove:

  1. The employee participated in a protected action
  2. The employee has been wrongfully terminated due to their action
  3. There is a palpable connection between the protected action and the employee’s termination

Similar to discrimination claims, an employer can defend the termination by proving a justifiable reason for firing the employee. If a legitimate reason is defined by the employer, the employee will have to demonstrate that the legitimate reason is untrue and that the termination was indeed due to the retaliation of the employer.

Being let go from your job unexpectedly can be shocking, and being fired for an unjust reason adds insult to injury. In Texas, the employment-at-will policy isn’t solely used as a safeguard for employees but has stipulations that can protect employees.

An unlawful termination is a just reason for the recovery of damages. A wrongfully fired employee can recover past and future lost wages, compensatory damages due to any physical or mental suffering, as well as punitive damages.

How Long do I Have to File a Wrongful Termination Claim?

Before filing a lawsuit for your wrongful termination in Texas, it’s necessary to file an administrative complaint or claim with the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). The TWC generally suggests that claimants dissolve their issues through mediation. But, if either party refuses mediation, the TWC will then proceed with an investigation to discern whether there was unlawful action. Once the TWC has investigated the claim, an employee will be able to file a lawsuit for damages.

A wrongful termination claim must be filed within the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the allotted time for a plaintiff to file a lawsuit following the incident of harm. These statutes generally depend on the context of the claim.

For most Texas wrongful termination cases, the statute of limitations is 180 days from the date of termination. The limit can increase up to 300 days, depending on the case’s circumstances and the employment relationship. Considering these time frames, it’s crucial to act quickly following a termination. Record all potentially relevant documentation to help your future claim and get in contact with an employment attorney.

Once you have filed a claim with the appropriate government agency, you can move forward with filing a lawsuit against your employer. For a wrongful termination lawsuit, you have two years to file.

What Should I Do If I Have Been Terminated Unlawfully in Texas?

If you believe you have been unlawfully or wrongfully terminated in Texas, we advise you to seek legal aid as soon as possible. Get in touch with our knowledgeable San Antonio wrongful termination lawyers to discuss your circumstances and initiate your claim with the appropriate government agency. Before an attorney can fight to recover damages on your behalf, it is necessary to file a claim.

If the investigation brought on through your claim finds that you’ve been wrongfully fired, we can proceed to a lawsuit. Our wrongful termination attorneys at Galo Law Firm have years of experience and can adapt to the intricacies of your specific case. Our law team can identify your rights, options, and legal requirements to proceed with making a legal claim.

If you are contemplating seeking legal aid, we remind you of the statutes of limitations. If you fail to file a claim and, in turn, a lawsuit before the time limit, you lose eligibility to pursue compensation.

Contact a Galo Law Firm Wrongful Termination Attorney

If you work in San Antonio and believe you have been subject to wrongful termination based on discrimination, retaliation, or any other unlawful reason, contact a wrongful termination lawyer at Galo Law Firm today. All employees deserve equitable protection from unlawful firings. Not only is it unfair, but it is illegal for business owners or employers to abuse their power and neglect the rights of any employee.

At Galo Law Firm, we can connect you with our team of trained attorneys to facilitate your wrongful termination case. A wrongful termination suit can be overwhelming alone, but our experienced San Antonio wrongful termination lawyers have 30 years of practice navigating the complexities of employment law and will fight to secure your rights and interests.

Our commitment to our client’s well-being sets our legal team apart when confronting wrongful termination in Texas. We understand that every claim is unique as the individual it affects, and we prioritize a strong attorney-client relationship.

Our law firm approaches each case with a determination to recover just compensation. We understand how overwhelming being wrongfully terminated can feel. Let us help you face this challenge and advocate on your behalf.

Get in touch with our law office today to schedule your consultation. Call 210-361-8043.

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