Did they have a right to fire me if I followed company policy?

The other day, when I went to leave to run some errands at about 3 pm, I noticed my car was towed from my apartments. Immediately I contacted a co worker to let manager on duty know what was going on and that I might be a little late due to me having to wait for my ride to get my car out and city traffic. I also tried to get my shift covered. It got closer to 6 pm when I was scheduled so I texted the next manager that’s coming in for that shift letting him know what was going on and an estimate of what time I would be able to arrive at work. I arrived 2 hours late and I was sent home. I went and spoke with the 1st manager and his reason for firing me was due to no call no show but I texted both managers and still attempted to show up. There is a handbook that states of all those procedures were followed it wouldn’t result in termination but I got fired.

Asked on June 9, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, the policies in a handbook are generally simply guidance or statements about what "should" or "usually" happens; the handbook almost never forms an enforceable employment contract, particularly if there is any language or terms in it to the effect of any of the following: 
* "Employment is employment at will"
* "Polices are subject to change at will"
* "This handbook does not form a contract or guaranty of employment"
Only if you had an enforceable written contract (including a handbook so clear and absolute, with no limitations, that it might be considered to be a contract) would you have any rights against being fired. Otherwise, in the absence of a written contract, employment is "employment at will" and your employer may terminate you at any time, for any reason, even if that is against their common or normal practices.

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