Employment Law

Texas Employment Law & Attorneys

1) Wrongful termination under the common law of Texas.
Unless otherwise protected by contract, government employment, or labor union membership, Texas views the relationship between an employer and an employee as arising under old English law of master and servant. Under that law, the master is free to discharge the servant at any time for any reason, including no reason at all. The law seeks to balance this doctrine by stating that employees are free to quit at any time without notice. Upon termination in Texas, the usual remedy for the terminated worker is to file a claim for unemployment benefits with the Texas Workforce Commission. The employer is allowed an opportunity to respond. If it does not, benefits are granted. If the employer protests payment of benefits to the employee; then, the Workforce Commission schedules a telephonic evidentiary hearing. THE VALUE OF ATTORNEY ASSISTANCE. Whether in a contract dispute, a Civil service Commission hearing, a grievance hearing, or a Texas Workforce Commission benefits hearings, a record is made. A record is the recorded testimony of witnesses and documents that are found to be relevant and are admitted into evidence in the case. Workers, employees and citizens are usually completely unskilled in matters of sifting relevant facts from irrelevant facts, identifying relevant documents and getting them accepted into evidence, objecting to bad evidence offered by the employer, and cross examining hostile witnesses. It is therefore CRITICAL that the worker seek attorney assistance before the record is made. All appeals and further proceedings will be based on the record.

2) Texas statutes that protect employment
Texas has numerous statutes that are designed to protect the employment of workers. For instance, it is illegal to terminate an employee because he is called to jury duty or he must report for National Guard training. The statutory protection of employment that generates the most litigation is the anti-retaliatory discharge provisions of the Texas Worker’s Compensation Act.

3) Civil rights statutes
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Texas Human Rights Act, prohibit companies that are engaged in interstate commerce from making employment decisions based upon race, religion, national origin, gender or age (over 40).

To inquire about attorneys specializing in Harris County and Houston Employment law, please contact the HCBA at (713) 236-8000.