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What to Do if Terminated for Refusing to Commit an Illegal Act

If you work in Austin and your employer fired you for refusing to perform an illegal act, you may believe there is little for you to do or that if you do attempt to notify anyone you may be labeled a "whistleblower." If you are uncertain what to do if terminated for refusing to commit an illegal act, rest assured that the law is on your side.

The Sabine Pilot Doctrine

In 1985, the Texas Supreme Court heard the case of Sabine Pilot Service, Inc. v. Hauck. This case was important because it challenged the long-standing status of Texas as an at-will employment state.

“At-will employment" essentially means that an employer may terminate a worker at any time for any reason without explanation. For decades, employers abused the system and intimidated workers. The 1985 case put an end to wrongful termination when a company fires an employee for refusing to commit illegal acts and gave birth to what is now known as the Sabine Pilot doctrine.

In the Sabine Pilot case, the court addressed three questions:

  1. Did the employer ask the worker to commit an illegal act?
  2. Did that worker decline the act?
  3. Did the worker's decision lead to his or her termination?

When the answer to all three of these questions is "yes," the terminated worker has a Sabine Pilot claim and should pursue legal action against the employer.

Austin Employment Law

Based on the Sabine Pilot doctrine, an employer cannot terminate an employee for refusing to commit an illegal act. That said, proving the reason for being fired is not always an easy task. If you are wondering what to do if terminated for refusing to commit an illegal act, you should contact an attorney with extensive experience in employment law. He or she will be an invaluable resource when attempting to pursue a wrongful termination claim.

A wrongful termination lawyer in Austin, TX can help you recover wages you have lost after being fired as well as potential future wages that may be affected by your case. Additionally, there is another aspect to wrongful termination to consider. Being fired is a trying experience, especially under these circumstances. Your attorney can also assist you in recovering monetary compensation for the mental anguish you experience from your wrongful termination.

If you're wondering what to do if terminated for refusing to commit an illegal act by your employer, contact the Austin employment lawyers of Carabin Shaw immediately. We are ready to help you.

A wrongful termination lawsuit is subject to a two-year statute of limitations, so it's important to act quickly after being let go by your employer. Our Austin employment lawyers have helped scores of wrongfully terminated workers because we believe employers should be held accountable for illegally taking away a person's livelihood.

Call Carabin Shaw Today

When you call our office to schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys in Austin, your initial consultation with us is free of charge and carries no obligation. This meeting gives us an opportunity to review the facts of your case to understand your unique circumstances better. Furthermore, all of our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. You will never be charged fees of any kind until after we win your case.

Once you make the decision to let us represent you, we will handle every aspect of your case, including all interactions with your employer and their legal teams, meeting critical deadlines, and filing any necessary paperwork with the courts. We'll also be sure to keep you informed about important aspects of your case and will carry the burden of helping you get back on your feet. We are committed to being a powerful advocate for your rights throughout this process.

If you were wrongfully terminated, call the law offices of Carabin Shaw today. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to talk with you.

To reach us in Austin, dial toll-free 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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