I was hired by the company OCE Business Solutions to be a site manager at a Law Firm in Tyler Texas. As site manager, I had 5 employees who were to report to me with any and all questions and concerns (per our policy/handbook). We were not to go to the client (lawfirm manager). BUT I had one employee who was really buddy buddy with the client manager and would constantly go to her even after being asked not to on several occasions. Last week she went to the client manager tatling about one of her coworkers and a comment he made as she thought it was inappropriate. Therefore, the client manager came to me to notify me she was going to talk my employee about an improper comment he made to the receptionist. Remember, at this point I know nothing about the comment, all I knew is what she said and she indicated that it was to the receptionist, so I assume at this point she is the one who told the client supervisor. Long story short, I found out it was my employee who actually tatled and the receptionist had nothing to do with it. So i figured out that the client manager was covering for my employee who did the tatling because they are good friends. It turned out to be a big mess, because i went to the Client manager to discuss the matter and it made her mad that I even brough it up, truth being she was caught covering up and didn't want to discuss it. This all happened on Friday the 13th. On Sunday the 15th I received a call from my OCE boss letting me know that the client manager asked me not to return to the site. In other words I was let go for folling the correct guidelines and the person who was insubordinate, who just so happens to be buddies with the client manager, is still there, and has moved up to my position for the time being. All my other employees are very mad as we had a great working relationship. I am very upset that I got canned and she pays no repurcussions at all! I am a very hard working, dedicated employee who has worked 27 yrs. straigh and I do things in a very professional manner and this just takes its toll on me. How to handle. I am now without pay and have a family that I help support. Thanks
I hope this message finds you well, present circumstances excluded. I come to you with bad news, unfortunately. Unless you had an employment contract with your employer that stated otherwise, you were considered to be employed at will.
As you probably know already, a person employed at will has very little in the way of rights of retribution against employment actions. In the situation, the employer can terminate an employee for cause, or for no reason at all. If it is technically for cause, the employer doesn't even have to have their facts straight (although failure to have a properly documented may help you if/when you apply for unemployment benefits).
Texas is a state that heavily favors the rights of employers over employees. They recognize an exception to at will employment for Public Policy concerns only. An example of this would be terminating an employee because they filed a worker's compensation claim.
Your facts, in all honesty, probably do not fit within the traditionally accepted public policy exceptions to employment at will in Texas. However, it may be worth meeting with an employment lawyer in person to discuss these facts with an eye towards filing suit. I am afraid that any suit would be an uphill battle and you may have trouble finding an attorney to take the case, however.
You should file for unemployment and in the mean time see if you can get some former co-workers to sign statements supporting you and your side of the story that are notarized. This can be used as evidence on your behalf if your employer tries to deny the unemployment benefits.
I wish I had better news for you relative to the issue, but I am obligated to tell you the legal reality of the situation. I certainly understand your frustration. You have been wronged, no doubt, but the law in set up against you in this case.
I wish you the best going forward and I appreciate the opportunity to assist you.
Thanks. One more questions, I knew that texas is basically considered "at will'. But does it matter that I was considered an exempt employee and was salaried and when I worked overtime was not paid; wherein all my employes were non exempt?
Didn't know if being exempt made a difference? Please advise.
Unfortunately being exempt will not have bearing on your issue.
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