If I was fired without a warning after 4 years of employment, is that legal?

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If I was fired without a warning after 4 years of employment, is that legal?

I left the job because after 6 hours of work due to my back giving out. I asked the supervisor on-site and was given the OK and permission. I called the supervisor the next day and left a message saying I would not be able to work the next shift either. My employer after 5 days later fired me stating that I was supposed to have called the office. Since the 4 years that I have worked there that is not how they wanted us to do. They always said to talk to the supervisor on site.

Asked on January 11, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Many states are at-will employment states. This means that either an employee or employer can end an employment relationship at any time for any reason (or no reason for that matter).  The only time that a termination by an employer is illegal is when it was based on an improper motive.  An improper motive includes things like racial discrimination, someone was a whistleblower, or employee requested ADA protection.  In these situations, an employee can file a lawsuit for a violation of state or federal laws for the identified type of discrimination.  So, in your situation, your termination may or may not be legal depending on a pattern.  If your employer's reason was just an excuse to fire you, because they were concerned that you would file an ADA claim, then the termination is not legal.  Your evidence of discrimination would be that other people not in the ADA classification have been allowed to call in to the supervisor on site.  Other evidence would be the employee handbook, if one existed.  If the only reason for your termination is that they suddenly decided to start enforcing the hand-book (assuming the handbook says to call the office), then the termination is legal, despite the historical practices. 


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