Texas is an employment at-will state. What this means is that your employer can fire you at any time for any reason because your employment is at the will of the employer. However, there are situations where your employer cannot fire you. Often times when a workers’ compensation claim is filed, the injured employee is worried about his/her job and rightfully so, since the employment is at-will. But here are some things to watch for to use as leverage in keeping your job:
- Race/Sex/Age/Religious Discrimination – you cannot be fired for one of these reasons.
- Public Whistleblowers – you cannot be retaliated against for blowing the whistle on a public employer.
- Refusing to commit a crime.
- Jury Service – You cannot be fired for missing work for jury duty.
- Subpoena Compliance – You cannot be fired for missing work for obeying a subpoena to appear in court.
- Military Duty – You cannot be fired for missing work for military duty.
- Voting – You cannot be discriminated against for voting.
- Union Membership – You cannot be denied employment based upon union membership.
- Because Your Employer has been given a Child Support Withholding Order.
- Agricultural Laborer Protections – Agricultural workers cannot be discriminated against for seeking information or working with authorities regarding hazardous chemicals in use.
- Handling Hazardous Chemicals – Likewise, anyone who handles chemicals of more than 55 gallons or 500 pounds is protected.
- Nursing Home Workers – nursing home employees are protected from reporting abuse and neglect that takes place in the facility.
- Health Care Facility Workers – You are protected from reporting abuse, neglect, illegal, unethical or unprofessional conduct of persons associated with health care facilities.
- And finally, you cannot be fired or discriminated against for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
If you have been fired and you believe one of these exceptions to the at-will nature of you employment applies to you, then you should seek out a lawyer as soon as possible.