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Sabine Pilot Wrongful Termination Claims: San Antonio Attorneys

Whistleblower and Sabine pilot cases that involve wrongful termination can be complicated. In San Antonio, an employer can terminate an employee for almost any reason at any time because Texas is an “employment at will” state. This law means that an employer, under most circumstances, does not have to establish “just cause” to fire an employee. However, employers cannot terminate employees for unlawful reasons. If an employer fires an employee after he or she refuses to perform an illegal act, the termination may not be legal. If this situation sounds familiar, call a lawyer today.

Whistleblower Rights

An employee who witnesses unlawful practices in the workplace and takes action is known as a whistleblower. “Taking action” can be defined as an employee reporting illegal activity to law enforcement, a government agency, or even a supervisor at work. The Texas Whistleblower Act protects certain whistleblowers from wrongful termination in San Antonio and across the state. Some people protected by these laws are employees for public entities, such as mental health facilities and hospitals.

At Carabin Shaw, we know how hard being wrongfully fired can be, especially if you were taking a stand for what you think was right. San Antonio employment lawyers can help if you feel an employer wrongfully terminated you. To determine if you have a case, you should get expert advice about San Antonio employment law. For your Sabine Pilot wrongful termination claim, our San Antonio attorneys are here for you.

TheSabine Pilot Case

Lawyers know that in San Antonio, as well as the rest of Texas, employers do not have the right to fire an employee for refusing to carry out an illegal act. The Texas Supreme Court created this exception, commonly known as Sabine Pilot, in 1985 with the case of Sabine Pilot Service, Inc. v. Hauck.

For a successful Sabine Pilot claim, the employee must be potentially subjected to criminal penalties if they were to commit the crime, and, for an employee to win his or her case, refusing to perform an illegal act must be the sole reason for termination. Any employee that feels this applies to them needs a Carabin Shaw wrongful termination lawyer in San Antonio.

The History of Sabine Pilot

In the Sabine Pilot case, the plaintiff, Michael Hauck, was a deckhand employed by Sabine Pilot. According to Hauck, his employer told him daily to pump the bilges of the boat on which he worked. One day, he noticed a sign that declared pumping the bilges into the water was illegal, and he contacted the U.S. Coast Guard to clarify. On the phone, the U.S. Coast Guard confirmed that pumping the bilges into the water was unlawful, so Hauck refused to continue the practice. As a result, Sabine Pilot fired Hauck.

Hauck took Sabine Pilot to court, and he claimed that Sabine Pilot terminated him for his refusal to participate in the illegal act of pumping the bilges. Ultimately, the Texas Supreme Court sided with Hauck and the decision in the Sabine Pilot case became part of Texas employment law.

The Burden of Proof

In court, employees have the burden of proof to show that the only reason their employer fired them was their refusal to perform an illegal act. This burden makes it difficult for the plaintiff alone to win his or her case. To increase your chance of success, consult with San Antonio employment lawyers. Your best bet for your Sabine Pilot wrongful termination claim is the San Antonio attorneys of Carabin Shaw.

Call a Lawyer Carabin Shaw Today

Did you experience wrongful termination in San Antonio because you refused to participate in an unlawful act? You may be able to make a Sabine Pilot claim under the protection offered by the Texas Whistleblower Laws. Our experienced lawyers at Carabin Shaw know how to win these cases, and we can provide you with a free consultation to guide you in getting the justice that is yours. For your Sabine Pilot wrongful termination claim, San Antonio attorneys at Carabin Shaw are here for you.

Call a Carabin Shaw lawyer today toll-free at 800-862-1260.

Visits with the Attorney are by appointment only. Main office San Antonio, Texas.

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