What to do regarding a termination due to another job that is part-time?

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What to do regarding a termination due to another job that is part-time?

My primary job is CDL driver. On my off-duty time I’m a volunteer firefighter and respond to calls from my house. My recent employer said this interrupts my mandatory 8 hours off-duty and surpassed my 12 hours of on-duty time for my CDL position. I was terminated because of my volunteering where I don’t drive any CDL required trucks. Is this wrongful termination? Was I supposed to get any paperwork from them that I needed to sign and explaining my reasons of termination?

Asked on January 19, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, almost NO termination is wrongful terminatin, from a legal perspective, even if it is based on a factual mistake or even bad intentions. Unless you have an employment contract, you are what is known as an "employee at will." An employee at will has, essentially, no right to a job; the employer may terminate him or her at any time, for any reason, or even no reason whatsoever. So in this case, even if the employer's logic is faulty, it is legal, with one caveat: if you believe that you were in fact fired due to your membership in a protect category (e.g. due to your race, religion, age over 40, sex, or disability status) and that the reason given was just a pretext or excuse, you might have an employment discrimination claim.

There is no requirement for paperwork at termination, unless the employer has voluntarily taken on such an obligation, such as through an employment contract, union agreement, or clear, unequivocal terms of an employee handbook.


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