Many Texas business owners have concerns about the possible consequences of firing a contracted employee. Contracts can make firing an employee difficult. The terms of the contract dictate what the process is when an employee is fired.
One thing that many people are not aware of is the fact that there are oral employment contracts in place in many cases. Discussions, such as during interviews or reviews where someone implies that an employee will not be fired if they do well, may constitute oral contracts. Courts have often upheld these statements without written agreements in place.
Implied contracts also do not contain clear-cut contract language. Examples include employee handbooks that state that an employee becomes permanent after three months or an understanding that the company never fires anyone who is doing their job right. These types of contracts are harder uphold in court.
When there is an employee contract, the employer must have good cause to fire the employee or face the possibility of a wrongful discharge case. Some of the most common reasons for dismissing an employee include bad performance, violating the company's rules, and illegal or harassing activity.
Some employers engage in unethical practices when they fire employees. Examples of unethical practices include false information about employee performance, terminating to avoid paying a commission or firing an employee to avoid paying retirement benefits.
Employment contracts, while designed to protect both parties, are sometimes used against vulnerable employees. An attorney may be able to help an employee understand if his or her rights were violated or if an employer might have broken the terms of an employment contract.