In Texas, employment is usually "at will." However, some employees have employment contracts that address payment, job responsibilities, collective bargaining agreements, contracts for term, unpaid commissions, leave, non-solicitation agreements, non-competition agreements, and what to do in case of a breach. If you are concerned about an aspect of your employment contract, you should retain the Austin employment contract lawyers at Wiley Walsh, P.C.Protections Provided by Employment Contracts
There are few rights given to a Texas employee that are not provided by statute or labor regulations. This means that you can be terminated for any reason, and your job can be changed for any reason, unless public policy, statute, or your employment contract say otherwise. It is against public policy, for example, to be terminated because you refused to commit an illegal act while employed.
Accordingly, your employment contract is critical for your protection on the job. An employment contract can provide for a fixed term of employment or can limit the employer's right to terminate employment without cause. Contracts are promises that have legal consequences that come into effect after an offer is made and accepted, and a valuable exchange occurs. The contract can include agreements as to work schedule, compensation, vacation, responsibilities, work location, and benefits or bonuses.
Sometimes a non-competition or non-solicitation agreement is also included in the contract. As an employment contract attorney at our Austin firm can explain, these must be properly worded to pass muster in the courts. These agreements must be reasonable and limited in scope to be enforceable. Each situation is unique, and it is important to consult an attorney about how a court would likely view your non-compete agreement.
Assuming that it is a valid and enforceable employment contract, a breach of the terms under which you were hired can be a basis for litigation. If you are fired for a reason that is prohibited under your contract, you will need to prove that there was a valid employment contract that limited your employer's right to fire you, you satisfied your duties under the contract, you were fired because of circumstances that breached the terms of the employment contract, and you incurred damages because of the breach. For example, if your contract said that you would not be terminated before a specific event happened, but you were terminated before that event, the termination would be a direct breach. Usually, the damages that arise out of a breach in an employment contract are economic in nature.Oral Contracts are Enforceable
What if your contract is not in writing? An oral employment agreement is usually enforceable. However, oral agreements are more likely to give rise to exploitation and litigation because of the power imbalance between an employee and an employer.Seek Guidance from an Experienced Employment Contract Lawyer in Austin
Many employees are afraid to lose their job or income, so they do not seek legal help even when an employment situation becomes untenable or their employment contract is breached. An Austin employment contract attorney may be able to address your concerns and resolve a dispute related to your contract. Wiley Walsh, P.C. represents employees in Austin, Georgetown, Round Rock, Cedar Park, Pflugerville, Leander, Del Valle, Kyle, San Marcos, San Antonio, New Braunfels, and Fredericksburg, among other cities. Call us at (512) 271-5527 or complete our online form to set up an appointment. We also can assist people who need a discrimination lawyer to protect their rights in the workplace.