Texas and New York Wrongful Discharge Attorney
Whistleblower Reprisal • Discriminatory Discharge • Retaliation
Employees in Texas and New York are at a distinct disadvantage, possessing few rights in comparison to their employers. Texas and New York follows the "employment at will" rule, meaning an employee can be abruptly fired for cause — or for no reason at all. However, there are limited exceptions under state and federal law that protect certain classes of employees.
- For whistle-blowing on violations or crimes
- For refusing to commit illegal acts for your employer
- If the firing violates specific terms of an employment contract
- For discrimination on the basis of your age, race, color, national origin, gender, disability, or for taking maternity or family medical leave
Call a Proven Employment Law Firm
If you were terminated or the victim of reprisal for any of the above reasons, you may have a claim for damages against the employer. The wrongful discharge attorneys of Kilgore + Kilgore represent clients in Dallas, Houston, statewide and New York. We have won substantial awards against some of the largest corporations in the world. Contact us today for a full explanation of your rights and a free case evaluation.
“My two-year-long battle with my former employer has come to a successful conclusion. I owe this outcome to the excellent representation I received from you, Ted Anderson and Robert Behrendt. Truth prevailed. Justice was done. I have my good name back. Many thanks.”
- Lee, Former CEO of International Industrial Company,
Wrongful Termination/Breach of Contract, 2011
See Other Client Testimonials from people we have represented.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of employees have no wrongful termination rights. You cannot sue an employer if you were fired for the following reasons:
- No reason (Texas and New York employers are not required to give one)
- Fired for "minor" cause (e.g., late to work, violation of smoking policy)
- Singled out when less qualified workers kept their jobs
- Refusal to relocate or accept a different position
- Reporting bad behavior of a boss or co-worker (unless it was illegal behavior)
However, sometimes the above reasons are a cover-up to fire an employee for illegal reasons (such as reporting fraud or sexual harassment, age discrimination). If you have evidence that the real reason is a violation of your civil rights, contact Kilgore + Kilgore for a frank assessment of your situation.
Under the provisions of section 806 of the Corporate and Criminal Fraud Accountability Act of 2002, Title VIII of the Sarbanes - Oxley Act of 2002, employees of a publicly traded company who report fraudulent activity or environmental or safety violations are protected from retaliation.
Public Policy Exception
Under Sabine Pilot, the Texas Supreme Court carved out a limited exception to the at-will employment doctrine. An employer may not terminate an employee for refusing to commit an illegal act. If an employee is terminated for the sole reason of refusing to commit a crime, he or she may have a lawsuit for wrongful termination.
An executive or employee may have grounds for a wrongful termination claim when a party to the contract (employer) terminates the employee in violation of the contract — oral or written — that the employer arranged with the employee.
Civil Rights Statutes
Certain civil rights statutes prevent employers from terminating or taking adverse action against an employee for the following reasons:
- Discrimination on the basis of an employee’s race, color, national origin, religion or sex (Civil Rights Act of 1964)
- Termination for reporting sexual harassment or discrimination
- Discrimination under the Age Discrimination Act (if the employer has more than twenty employees)
- Disability covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This includes termination for demanding "reasonable accommodation" of a disabled worker.
- Requests for FMLA unpaid leave for the birth or adoption of a child, or to care for a child, spouse, or parent suffering serious health condition (Family Medical Leave Act).
Contact a wrongful termination lawyer at Kilgore + Kilgore to discuss the viability of your discriminatory discharge or employment retaliation lawsuit. We represent clients throughout Texas and New York, including class action employee groups.