Getting fired from a job can be difficult to handle, particularly if the worker did not see it coming or did not think they deserved to be let go. If an employee feels that their firing was unjust, they may choose to file a wrongful termination claim against their employer.
Most states, including Texas, recognize at-will employment and therefore allow employers to terminate their employees at any time and for any legal reason. If you are an employer facing a wrongful termination claim, and employment law attorney in your area may be able to help.
Legitimate business reasons
One of the best ways to defend against such claims is to establish that there was a legitimate reason for the employee’s termination.
If you are facing a wrongful termination lawsuit, it is likely that the employee is alleging that they were terminated for unlawful reasons. An unlawful termination may be:
- Discrimination: Based on employee’s membership in a protected class (e.g., age, gender, race, or religion).
- Retaliation: Employee terminated for filing complaint based on harassment or discrimination in the workplace.
- Whistleblower retaliation: Employee terminated for whistleblowing or exposing illegal behavior within the organization.
- Breach of contract: Termination violates terms of employee’s employment contract.
The best way to establish that the firing was not for illegal reasons is to establish that there were legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons for the termination. These reasons may include:
- Chronic absenteeism or lateness
- Poor work performance
- Violence, threats or sexual harassment in the workplace
Performance reviews, reprimands, and correspondence between the employee and their supervisor are all commonly used to establish legitimate reasons for their termination. An attorney can make sure you have all the evidence you need to defend yourself against a wrongful termination claim.