An employer who fires an employee in Texas because the employee refuses to do an illegal act can be subject to liability because of a 1985 Texas Supreme Court case called Sabine Pilot Service, Inc. v. Hauck, 687 S.W.2d 733 (Tex.1985).   A Sabine Pilot claim is a tort, allowing for compensatory and exemplary or punitive damages, where an employer terminates an employee who refuses to do an illegal act.  For example, an employee fired for refusing to drive an illegally equipped or unsafe tractor trailer truck may be able to hold an employer responsible under Texas law for wrongful termination.  Further, an employee fired for reporting a crime to law enforcement may hold the employer accountable for wrongful termination since the employee may have committed the federal crime of misprison had the employee not reported the criminal activity.  Various other circumstances involving firings based on an employee refusal to commit a crime can give rise to a wrongful termination claim against an employer.

Latest Wrongful Termination Blog Posts

  • Houston Wrongful Discharge Lawsuit

    Houston Wrongful Discharge Lawsuit

    Texas is an at-will employment state, meaning that unless there is a contractual agreement saying otherwise, an employee employed for an indefinite term may be terminated at will without cause. A Beaumont wrongful termination lawsuit appealed to the Texas Supreme Court created an exception to the employment at-will doctrine. In its 1985 Sabine Pilot decision,

  • Fired For Refusing to Commit a Crime

    Fired For Refusing to Commit a Crime

    Texas is an at-will employment state, meaning that unless there is a contractual agreement saying otherwise, an employee employed for an indefinite term may be terminated at will without cause. A Beaumont wrongful termination lawsuit appealed to the Texas Supreme Court created an exception to the employment at-will doctrine. In its 1985 Sabine Pilot decision,

  • Texas Truck Driver Wrongful Termination Lawsuit

    Texas Truck Driver Wrongful Termination Lawsuit

    Texas is an employment at-will employment state and has been that way since at least 1888. In that year, the Texas Supreme Court held that, absent a contractual agreement to the contrary, an employee employed for an indefinite term could be terminated at will without cause. That changed in the 1985 Sabine Pilot case where

  • Beaumont Wrongful Termination Lawsuit

    Beaumont Wrongful Termination Lawsuit

    Texas has been an at-will employment state since at least 1888, when the Texas Supreme Court held that absent a contractual agreement to the contrary, an employee employed for an indefinite term could be terminated at will without cause.  See, Young v. Nortex Foundation Designs, Inc., 2013 Tex.App. Lexis 1222 (Tex.App. – Fort Worth, 2013,

  • Firing an Employee for Refusing to Commit Crimes Can Be a Wrongful Termination

    Firing an Employee for Refusing to Commit Crimes Can Be a Wrongful Termination

    Wrongful termination can include personnel related adverse employment actions such as employees fired for refusing to commit crimes like driving illegal trucks, tractor trailers and 18 Wheelers on Texas highways and roads.   The Ernster Law Firm handles wrongful termination lawsuits.

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