Was I wrongfully terminated?

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Was I wrongfully terminated?

I started working for a company 4 months ago and within a couple weeks I was promoted and given a raise. Due to unforeseen circumstances, I had some financial trouble. I lost my car and my wife had to have emergency surgery. Furthermore, my son was in an accident and rushed to the hospital. I have medical paperwork proving all of this. In my company’s policy it states to find someone to cover your shifts and to provide medical paperwork. I did those things. I work in an airport so security is in issue. Over the weekend, I misplaced my badge and was told that it’s illegal to let me in without a badge, so I couldn’t work. I called my company and was told to find someone to cover my shifts for the weekend since the badge office was closed until Monday. I alerted my management team and they informed me to find someone to cover and in turn, on my off days Monday and Tuesday, I would work and put in overtime to offset what I missed. I was told that would be fine and that they would see me on Monday. I went to the badge office and was getting ready to work when I was terminated, even I followed company policy to the letter and have proof of my immediate family’s illnesses, they still let me go. I just got a promotion and we are still having financial troubles and I’m about to lose my apartment. I love my job and I hate that I was fired but I really think it was unfair. I know mine is an at-will state but there are exceptions. Do you think I have a case?

Asked on May 1, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, a company handbook is just a guideline. Typically, it will include language expressly allowing that the employer may change or rescind any of the provisions or may decide not to apply the usual policies. Accordingly, unless you had a employment contract or collective bargaining agreement that afforded you protection, you were an "at will" worker.  this means that your company could set the conditions of your employment much as it saw fit, absent some form of legally actionable discrimination. 


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