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What Qualifies as a Wrongful Termination Claim?

If you witnessed and reported unlawful activity at your workplace in El Paso , the law protects you against wrongful termination and retaliation from your employer. However, because the laws surrounding wrongful termination are complicated, knowing what qualifies as a wrongful termination claim can be difficult. If you think your employer fired you without cause, the El Paso employment lawyers of Carabin Shaw can help you figure out your next steps.

Texas Employment Law

Texas is an at-will employment state, which means that public companies have the right to fire employees for any reason at any time unless there is a written agreement that says otherwise.

Over time, different court cases have created narrow exceptions to this law, which have now become “common law.” The most notable exceptions concerning wrongful termination are the Texas Whistleblower Act and Sabine Pilot.

The Texas Whistleblower Act

A “whistleblower” is an employee who reports illegal acts in the workplace to a governmental agency, law enforcement, a superior, or the public. The Texas Whistleblower Act, found in section 554.001 of the Texas Government Code, offers whistleblower protection to all public employees who report specific law violations by the employing entity to the appropriate authorities.

Sabine Pilot

Another exception to wrongful termination is Sabine Pilot. According to the Sabine Pilot doctrine, an employer cannot fire an employee for refusing to commit a criminal act. The Texas Supreme Court founded this exception to Texas at-will employment laws in the 1985 case, Sabine Pilot Service, Inc. V. Hauck.

In this case, Sabine Pilot asked a deckhand, Michael Hauck, to pump the bilges of the boat he worked on into the water. After observing a placard stating not to do this, he contacted the Coast Guard to verify what to do. The coast guard confirmed that it was illegal to pump the bilges into the water, so he refused to continue this duty at work. Sabine Pilot fired him. Ultimately, though, Hauck won his case.

If you experienced something similar to Hauck, your best course of action is to get in touch with an employment lawyer to understand how you can best proceed with your case.

When Do You Have a Claim?

The lawyers of Carabin Shaw understand both Whistleblower and Sabine Pilot claims. If you believe the sole reason for your termination was either whistleblowing or refusing to participate in an illegal act, you may have grounds for an employment lawsuit. In wrongful termination cases in El Paso, like the rest of Texas, the burden of proof is on the employee, which makes it difficult to win. In a Sabine Pilot claim, for example, an employee must show that his or her termination was solely due to his or her refusal to commit an illegal act demanded by an employer. This act must also have had criminal repercussions.

The complicated laws can make it hard to know what qualifies as a wrongful termination claim. Nevertheless, if you believe your former employer fired you for unlawful reasons, you should consult the lawyers of Carabin Shaw to file a claim and try to win your rightful compensation.

What Can You Win?

When you are suing for wrongful termination in El Paso, you are suing for damages. The following is a brief explanation of the types of monetary damages you could win if you work with Carabin Shaw reach a successful settlement:

  • Lost Benefits
  • Punitive Damages
  • Emotional Distress
  • Lost Pay
What Should You Do Next?

Experiencing wrongful termination in El Paso for doing the right thing is not only unfair, but it’s also unlawful. If you think you lost your job illegally, consulting the expert team at Carabin Shaw is t he surest way to get the compensation rightfully owed to you.

We know what qualifies as a wrongful termination claim , and we’ll use our years of experience as El Paso employment lawyers to create a strategy based on your unique case. Our goal is to do everything we can to make right the wrong done to you.

Call Carabin Shaw toll-free today at 800-862-1260 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with an attorney.

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

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