One of the hardest things you may have to do as an employer is let someone go. There are many valid reasons you may have to explain why an employee may not be a good fit for your company. Texas is an at-will state, meaning that you can terminate an employee at any time for any legal reason.
However, once an employee is fired, they may choose to file a wrongful termination lawsuit against your company, claiming that they were terminated for unlawful reasons. Your company’s attorney will then be responsible for coming up with a strategy to defend the company against these allegations.
Defending against a wrongful termination lawsuit
When someone sues for wrongful termination, the basis of their suit will be that they were fired for illegal reasons. Employees may allege:
- Discrimination based on protected-class membership (e.g. race, gender, religion, age)
- Breach of employment contract
- Retaliation (terminated for engaging in a legally protected activity)
- Violations of public policy
In order to defend against these claims, your attorney will build a case to establish that your company had legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons for terminating the employee. The following evidence may be used to show the firing of the employee was lawful and warranted:
- Negative evaluations of employee performance
- Correspondence with employee
- Disciplinary actions taken towards the employee
- Documentation of altercations involving the employee
- Workplace policies and procedures (establish that they were enforced equally)
It can be difficult to defend against a wrongful termination lawsuit, but a qualified and experienced employment law attorney in your area can help protect your company’s reputation and finances.