Please Help moms...wrongful Termination?!?!?!

Updated on January 09, 2010
S.G. asks from Allen, TX
6 answers

Hello all! I really need some advice/help. I recently started a new position (on October 12, 2009) with a smaller company (about 8 employee’s total). I did very good within the first month and a half and received a $5,000.00 raise. I also received emails from the owner and head of HR, on more than 1 occasion, about what a great job I was doing and how good my work had been.

About 2 weeks after I received my raise everyone was notified that our paychecks would be getting paper checks instead of direct deposit because there were a little over 300K in outstanding invoices and a 65K credit had just been issued to a customer…I’m assuming the interest they would get for the few extra days that the money was in the bank was helpful for them?

So 2 weeks ago I was home sick for 6 days, for which I had a doctor’s AND hospital note…I had an allergic reaction to a medication I was taking and once at the hospital received a shot of epinephrine (sp?), Benadryl, Adavan and Larazapan because the reaction was so severe. I was notified last week that I was being fired…but I received different reasons from different people…the owner said it was because of “lack of communication” while I was out (even though I sent 4 emails and called 4-5 times while I was out), the HR lady said it was because I was out sick for those 6 days and my termination letter said it was because “during this 90 day trial period we have decided that we need to pursue other options for this role”.

What I need to know is if I have a case for wrongful termination, who I can contact if I do and if anyone knows of anyone hiring immediately.

Also, when I first started I was given a laptop and blackberry and told that I could use my blackberry as my personal phone…thankfully I did not cancel my personal phone, but I did transfer all of my contacts over. When I was fired, my access to outlook was taken and I no longer have any of my personal contacts or any of the emails I have related to my raise and good job that I have been doing. I have asked several times for all of my information back but have been told that I will not get any of that information until I return the laptop and blackberry…the reason being that outlook is their “property”, but so is the laptop and blackberry?? Can they do that?

Thank you all in advance for any advice or help.

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answers from Dallas on

It sounds like there is more to the story that you may or may not be aware of.

I don't know if anything I say can help you but maybe you can get some ideas of what to do..

My "flag" went up when you mentioned the switch from direct deposit to paper check...HUGE RED FLAG here.....the company is in financial trouble.

I don't know if you have a case or not but one thing I have ALWAYS done is have a back up of all my info (CYA file). I keep a file in a separate location that can't have access blocked..... a yahoo, hotmail, etc address. I continue to back everything up elsewhere so I have any proof if I need it. I've never needed it but it sure is nice to have it.

Were you aware of a 90 day trial period? Did you sign a contract? Were you on the health plan (they are required to offer it to you through Cobra). I would call the TX Employment Commission and ask questions.

It sounds weird to me that they are holding your Outlook "hostage". I would not fork over the laptop or blackberry until I got some answers.

I'm sorry you are going through this. I don't have experience with it myself. This company does not sound like it is a well run place to me.


answers from Dallas on

While I don't know specific laws, I know that in my husband's company, they have let people go for excessive absenses in the first 90 days as well. I don't think it really matters that you have a medical excuse, Texas is an "at will" state meaning employers are allowed to let you go for something like this. Sorry this happened, sounds like a very unfortunate circumstance....



answers from Dallas on

My background is in HR, and IMO you have no grounds for a claim of wrongful termination. I'll add that it sounds like this is a company you should be glad you're rid of!

Set up a time to bring the laptop and Blackberry, with the understanding that at that time you will recieve copies of all that email, plus a letter of reference. File for unemployment immediately- your claim starts the day you file.


answers from Dallas on

Texas IS an at will state. Which means you can be terminated at any time for any reason and there's not a whole lot you can do about it.

Did you apply for FMLA while you were out? Do you have ANY documentation for those times you "called or emailed 2 to 4 times"??

Do you still have the property (laptop or blackberry)? Have they offered you cobra benefits? Do you have a copy of policies for that company?? Did they even OFFER you any??

From what I know, your issue is not defined as wrongful termination in the sense that you did not get fired for any discriminatory act (ie: sexual harassment, race descrimination based on race or sex).

Another words...if there is no contract they can let you go for just about anything they want as long as it's not an act of discrimination.



answers from Amarillo on

Since Texas is an at will state they can fire you at any given time for no reason at all technically.

Within the 90 day period if you are absent more then once I believe then a lot of componies will fire you doctors not hospital note it doesnt matter they can fire. And if you do happen to be out in the hospital or a doctors note from personal experience call them and check in every single day with the boss.
I had FMLA and was at the same place for almost 3 years we got a new director and he wrote me up for excessive absentces yet they ALL were under my FMLA so I just went ahead and quit. I wasnt going to walk on eggshells around the new director when I had FMLA before he ever got there and it was for my daughter who has epilepsy.

Best of Luck hope things work out for the best for you!



answers from Dallas on

Hi S.,

So sorry this happened.

Someone mentioned FMLA, but you would not have been eligible to apply for FMLA as you did not meet the requirement being with that company long enough.

I hope you find another position soon!

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