Can your employer fire you by never calling you again?

UPDATED: Aug 7, 2012

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Can your employer fire you by never calling you again?

I got fired for damaging company car; I got fired 11 days after the incident and after collecting 2 paychecks. In addition my employer never called me. He told me last Friday that he would call on Sunday to let me know what time I come in Monday (which he normally does). However, he never called me. I called on Monday evening to ask him straight up and after a few attempts at dodging question he finally gave me an affirmative. BTW he told me that he would not give me my last 2 checks that he owed me and that he would sue me for damaging his car if I took legal action. Is this legal?

Asked on August 7, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you need to be scheduled for work and your employer never calls you to schedule you, then you can be fired by never being called. If you don't have to be specifically scheduled, then you can come and keep working until told otherwise (fired).

You employer must give you your last paychecks--employers may only withhold employee checks with employee consent or permission. However, bear in mind that if you were driving carelessly (negligently) when you damaged the car, then your employer may legally sue you for the damage, and he can legally elect to only do so if you institute legal action against him. Depending on the size of your paychecks and the cost of the damage, it may not be worthwhile taking action for your checks; ideally, you should however get the employer to sign an agreement that in exchange for you giving up your claim to the paychecks he gives up any/all claims against you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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