If I was terminated over the phone, do I have a case?

I was driving trucks. I had a black ice accident which resulted in a soft roll over. I called the safety manager to report what happened and he replied I had to many points and the dollar amount was to high. I asked for more reasoning and he said go look it up and its against HR policy to give you a printout of why you were fired. I’m still unsure of the points and dollar amounts.

Asked on March 6, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Texas is an at-will employment state, which means that a person can be fired for any reason... as long as it's not an illegal reason (like race, gender, etc.)  In fact, as long an employer is not letting you go for an illegal reason, they don't even have to tell you why they are letting you go.  The same goes for the method of termination.  Employers can terminate the employment relationship over the phone, in a letter, or in person.  You don't have a claim for employment discrimination based on the facts you set out, however, you should still be able go to the Texas Workfoce Commission and make an application for unemployment.  If your employer wants to contest your right to receive unemployment, they will have to prodcuce the documentation you have previously requested.   You may also want to follow-up with your HR department in person.  Often managers will spout a policy that is not actually in effect-- go get it "from the horses mouth", so to speak.


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