Wrongful Termination

Recently I discovered that my employer was underpaying me by $492 a month for 18 months. My check is direct deposit and I file the pay stubs without opening the envelope. I notified the owner and the V.P. of Administration and gave them a copy of my offer letter. They both were disappointed that I did not catch this sooner and thought there was a way to make both parties happy. During our meeting regarding the back pay, the owner mentioned that after consulting with other people he did not believe the company owes me the money legally I should come up with a solution. I emailed him stating that according to the labor board the money is owed to me and at my discretion. After they reluctantly paid me I was laid-off. And according to my manager, he was told I was being laid-off due to the way I handled the back pay and for putting the request in writing. In my eyes this appears to be a retaliation. Is this a wrongful termination?

1 answer  |  asked Jan 21, 2005 2:15 PM [EST]  |  applies to Texas

Answers (1)

Margaret A. Harris
Laid Off Because Insisted on Full Payment

I know of no particular law that prohibits your employer from retaliating against you under these circumstances. Had you been complaining of lack of overtime payment, or age discrimination (or race, gender, religion, color, disability, or national origin), there would be a law prohibiting retaliation.

One could argue that retaliation for wanting to be paid what you were promised should be an exception to the "employment at will" doctrine. One could argue that the "public policy" in texas so strongly favors making employers live up to their promises that the law should be changed, but the odds of that argument winning are slim to nil. The Texas Supreme Court is 100% Republican -- and they aren't likely to change the law in such a way that it favors employees over corporations. Sorry. Texas should be called a "right to fire" state, not a "right to work" state. Good luck to you, though. Hopefully you'll find a better employer -- and keep better track of your income as it comes in.

posted by Margaret A. Harris  |  Jan 23, 2005 12:39 PM [EST]

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