What Constitutes Wrongful Termination in Texas

You might be wondering what really constitutes wrongful termination in Texas. Please don’t worry, we will help you answer that in a few.

In Texas, employment follows ‘at-will’ rules, meaning employers can generally fire employees for legal reasons.

However, if wrongfully terminated, you can sue and receive compensation.

This article explains how to identify and prove wrongful termination in Texas, and what to do if you’re affected.

An image of what constitutes wrongful termination in Texas
Source: haelaw

What is Wrongful Termination?

Wrongful termination means when a boss fires someone for reasons that break the law.

In Texas, most jobs can be ended without a reason (At-will employment), but there are rules.

It’s illegal to fire someone because of their race, gender, disability, pregnancy, age, or for reporting problems.

What Constitutes Wrongful Termination in Texas

  • Breaking a Contract: If a company doesn’t follow the rules in the employee handbook or a written contract, like firing someone without the proper warnings, that’s wrongful termination.
  • Harassment: If the place of work is unfriendly and people make mean comments about things like race or age, or if there are unwanted sexual comments, that’s harassment. Even if it’s not about those things, like a boss being mean and then firing someone for complaining, it can still be wrongful termination.
  • Discrimination: Firing or treating someone badly because of their age, gender, race, or other personal traits is discrimination. If a boss is harder on someone because of their age and then fires them, that could be wrongful termination.
  • Forcing Someone to Quit: If a boss makes the job so bad that the person feels they have to quit, like cutting their pay for no good reason, that’s called constructive dismissal.
  • Retaliation: If someone is fired for reporting something illegal or for standing up for their rights, like complaining about unsafe work conditions, that’s retaliation.
  • Ignoring Laws: If someone is fired while they’re on leave that the law says they can take, like parental leave, that’s a violation of public policy.
  • Illegal Requests: If a boss asks an employee to do something illegal, like messing with financial records, and then fires them for not doing it, that’s wrongful termination.

How To Prove Wrongful Termination

Knowing the evidence you require is crucial for building a solid case for wrongful dismissal.

Let’s break down the important elements needed to present your argument effectively.

  1. Work Documents: Your employment records are crucial. Gather pay stubs, time sheets, and contracts illustrating your job terms. Performance appraisals and disciplinary records give insight into your work history, serving as tangible proof of your contributions and conduct.
  2. Emails and Messages: Emails and other correspondence are invaluable. Collect messages talking about performance issues or conflicts, along with memos or letters supporting your claim. They provide a clear communication trail, offering strong evidence of your experiences.
  3. Testimonials: Witness statements are equally important. Remember to gather statements from coworkers or supervisors who can confirm your work performance, termination circumstances, or instances of discrimination. Their firsthand accounts strengthen your argument, making it harder to dispute.
  4. Proof of Discrimination or Retaliation: Collect evidence of any discrimination or retaliation faced, such as emails, memos, or witness statements. Also, gather records showing a pattern of unfair treatment, focusing on consistent behavior supporting your claim. These documents show a hostile work environment and establish a clear pattern of wrongful behavior.
  5. Personal Records: Maintain thoroughly written notes or a journal showing relevant incidents, conversations, and actions. Keep records of any internal complaints filed regarding workplace issues. These personal records serve as powerful evidence to support your claims.

Remember, the success of your wrongful termination case depends on the quality and quantity of evidence you provide.

Thorough documentation not only enhances your trustworthiness, but also improves your chances of a successful wrongful termination lawsuit.

What Are the Consequences and Compensation for Illegal Firing in Texas?

If you suspect you’ve been wrongfully fired in Texas, you might have a right to receive compensation for your losses.

While seeking reinstatement is one option, you may also pursue various damages for your wrongful termination.

These damages can include:

  • Financial Losses: Compensation for the money lost during the period of wrongful termination. This may cover both past and future wages and benefits.
  • Compensatory Damages: Recovery for any physical or emotional distress coming from the firing, which may involve medical expenses or therapy costs.
  • Punitive Damages: If your former employer knowingly breaks the law, you could seek punitive damages. These are meant to punish illegal behavior and discourage it in the future.

Proving wrongful termination can be difficult, especially as employers often have significant resources for their defense.

However, with the assistance of an experienced employment attorney, you can protect your rights and pursue the maximum compensation for the injustices you’ve faced.


In conclusion, understanding what constitutes wrongful termination in Texas is crucial for both employers and their workers.

While the state’s at-will employment doctrine allows for a wide range of reasons for termination, there are clear legal boundaries that must not be crossed.

It’s important for workers to know their rights and for employers to stick to the laws that protect those rights.

If you are  wrongfully terminated, consult with an employment lawyer to explore your options.

Remember, a fair place of work is not only a legal requirement but also the foundation of a productive and positive work environment.

Let’s strive to uphold the integrity of labor laws in Texas and ensure justice for all in the place of work.


What Constitutes Wrongful Termination in Texas? #WeeklyDocketPodcast #WrongfulTermination #LegalTips #TexasLaw

♬ original sound – Phil Silberman

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