Notice of Termination – refers to the notice given to an employee stating the date on which an employee’s contract will end. According to the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act, there are no specific requirements for an employer to give notice to an employee who’s being terminated unless the employee is covered by an individual contract with their employer or employees covered by a union/collective bargaining agreement.
In some cases, however, employers must notify employees of mass layoffs or a plant closure. This is outlined in the WARN Act, which requires employers with more than 100 employees to provide 60-days notice of such layoffs. These companies are not obligated to provide a severance unless they violate the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act by failing to provide notice of the layoffs. In these cases, the employer may need to pay severance pay damages to employees for every working day the employer failed to provide notice. This Act helps protect employees from being blindsided by a layoff and unable to secure employment with another company under such short notice.
Some states do have requirements for notice of termination, but as a San Antonio employment law attorney, I work with many cases in Texas, and like most states, it is a jurisdiction with “at-will employment.” Employers in Texas are also not obligated to provide severance after terminating an employee. There are, however both federal and state labor laws prohibiting employers from terminating their employees for public policy reasons. These public policies include:
Right-to-Work State – Texas is one of the 22 right-to-work states in the U.S. In these jurisdictions employers cannot terminate an employee for refusing to unionize or for exercising their right to unionize. There are exceptions to this policy, as railway and airline industry employees are not protected by the Right to Work Law. Federal employees also may not be covered.
Family Medical Leave Act – This Act provides job and benefits protection for employees during medical or military absences. The Act allows for an employee to take an unpaid leave if they cannot perform their duties or are caring for an ill family member. A Texas employee cannot be terminated for exercising these leave rights.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – Federal law protects employees from illegal workplace discrimination based on the employee’s race, color, age, religion, gender, pregnancy and disability. Not only are employers prohibited from discrimination, but the consequences include criminal and civil penalties through both the EEOC and the U.S. Department of Justice.
About the Author: Jeff Davis is the Owner of the Davis law firm and a highly experienced San Antonio employment law attorney. To find out more information about a San Antonio employment lawyer, please visit www.jeffdavislawfirm.com.