What are my rights regarding termination of employment?

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What are my rights regarding termination of employment?

At my workplace magazines get thrown away to the trash and I have been collecting them and recycling them. One day I decided to sell a few on ebay, but now my employer found out and told me to stop doing that and I did right on that moment. However, I got suspended and don’t know if they will fired me. Can they do that? I have never stolen any magazines from them to sell them; this are magazines that goes to the trash. I looked at them as a way of making some extra money on the side without hurting anybody. Can they fire me and, if they do, can I take any legal action?

Asked on October 26, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I'm afraid that you may not have too many rights here.  The reason is that most employment arrangementss are what is known as "at will".  What this means is that basically an employer can hire or fire someone for any reason or no reason whatsoever, as well has increase/decrease salary/hours, promote/demote, and generally impose requirements as it sees fit.  In turn, you can work for an employer or not, your choice. 

There are however exceptions to this. If there is a stated company policy contrary to the way in which your situation is being handled, or there is a union/employment agreement that does not allow for such action, or this situation has arisen due to some type of discrimination.


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