Terminated on hearsay and lies?

I worked at a large company in Houston at work today two women from HR took me aside and fired me, the reason they gave was they heard by several people I was sleeping in my car. Well I don't own a car I ride to work with a co-worker obviously this is a case of mistaken idenity I tried to tell them that but they wouldn't listen and I was escorted out of the building is this legal?

1 answer  |  asked Feb 28, 2007 6:25 PM [EST]  |  applies to Texas

Answers (1)

Margaret A. Harris
Ulterior Motive?

Texas is a "right to fire" state -- otherwise known as "employment at will." If the employer no longer has the will (or desire) to employ you, you do not have a right to the job. There are only a very few exceptions, which is why the title to this response is, "Ulterior Motive?"

If the employer wanted to get rid of you because you are of a racial group who is out of favor, or because you belong to the "wrong" religion, or came from the "wrong" country, or because you are the "wrong" gender, then the employer will often look for an excuse to use to fire you. We call this a pretext. That's how they try to cover up the fact that they are really firing you because of an unlawful motive. Only some bad motives are unlawful, however. It is against the law to fire someone because of age, color, religion, gender, disability, race, or national origin, but it is not illegal (in Texas) to fire someone because of their sexual orientation. And there's nothing illegal about favoritism or nepotism. Stupidity is not against the law either. There are some other exceptions too, but the ones about gender/age/disability/ etc. are the most common ones.

Check out the information about employee rights at www.workplacefairness.org. That information is written in plain English for the non-lawyer.

If you think there was an ulterior motive, and if you think it was an unlawful one, go see a lawyer in your area who practices employment law on behalf of employees.

Good luck!

posted by Margaret A. Harris  |  Mar 2, 2007 1:50 PM [EST]

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