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Sabine Pilot: Wrongful Termination Lawsuit in Austin

You are a good worker at the Austin company of your dreams. You have a good working relationship with your boss, you like your job, and your paycheck is steady. Then, out of nowhere, your boss asks you to do something with which you are uncomfortable. It may be unethical, or even illegal. You don’t want to lose your job, but carrying out these orders will cause its own set of problems.

Both state and local Austin employment law uphold that it is generally your employer’s prerogative to terminate employment at any time (within reason). Under Texas employment laws, requesting that an employee carry out an illegal act is not necessarily enough for the employee to file a lawsuit.

If, however, a worker refuses to commit an illegal act and is terminated for this refusal, the employee may be entitled to compensation. One of the most common exceptions related to these types of wrongful termination lawsuits in Austin is Sabine Pilot.

Sabine Pilot Claims

The Austin attorneys at Carabin Shaw know that Sabine Pilot claims are exceptions to Texas’s at-will employment policy. The first Sabine Pilot claim occurred in the 1985 case of Sabine Pilot v. (Michael) Hauck. Michael Hauck worked as a deckhand for Sabine Pilot Services. On the boat where he worked, his superiors ordered him to empty the bilge into the surrounding water. Hauck noticed signs clearly stating the illegality of dumping the contents of the bilge into the nearby water, and, after consulting the Coast Guard, he refused the order.

After his employer fired him, he sought reparations. When the case went to court, Sabine Pilot, the company that hired (and fired) Hauck claimed that they had let him go because he refused to clean the deck. Eventually, the court found that Hauck was indeed able to bring a lawsuit against his employer by proving that they had fired him for refusing to commit an illegal act.

Another notable instance of the Sabine Pilot exception is the case of Peine vs. HIT Services. In this instance, Mr. Joseph Peine was the CFO of HIT Services and soon realized his superiors were asking him to falsify records and fix the company’s financial books. Peine refused, and, while it perturbed his bosses, they did not move to fire him until he shared these private company matters with a reporter. Thus the court ruled (and HIT argued) that it was not the refusal to participate in potentially illegal activities that brought about his firing, but instead the fact that he went to the media before dealing with directly with his employer.

What Compensation Are You Eligible To Obtain?

Other cases are complicated because whistleblower laws protecting employees apply only to government workers, and not those in the private sector. A Sabine Pilot wrongful termination lawsuit in Austin can be difficult to fight on your own, and usually requires the guidance of an experienced legal voice.

Especially in these cases, the presence of an attorney specializing in employment law can help you build an airtight case and prove that the sole reason your company fired you was your refusal to commit an illegal act. An Austin lawyer can help you obtain reparations in many areas, including:

  • Time away from work
  • Wage loss
  • Reputational damage
  • Future wage loss
  • Mental anguish
  • Punitive damages
Contact the Austin Employment Lawyers of Carabin Shaw Today

If you believe you may have a Sabine Pilot wrongful termination lawsuit in Austin on your hands, call Carabin Shaw today for guidance you can trust. At Carabin Shaw, we believe that illegal acts should never be tolerated in the workplace, and our lawyers will fight to see you fully compensated.

Fortunately, the knowledgeable attorneys from Carabin Shaw have more than 20 years of experience dealing with cases of wrongful termination. Our wrongful termination lawyers in Austin, TX offer every potential client a free consultation to answer all questions.

To reach one of our Austin employment lawyers today, call 512-832-1101. You may also contact us toll-free at 800-862-1260.

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

Austin Office
1609 Shoal Creek Blvd #100
Austin, TX 78701


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