Breach of Employment Contract

A Breach of Employment Lawyer at the Pursley Law Firm will assist you to determine whether there was a breach of contract by your employer resulting in your wrongful termination. The Breach of Employment lawyer at the Pursley Law Firm has successfully pursued claims for employees all over Texas; specifically in the cities of Dallas, Houston, Austin, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and El Paso.

Texas law recognizes that an employment contract may be breached by the employer or the employee. Employment contracts usually specify the terms of employment for the duration of employment, salary, benefits, incentives, and any severance benefits should the need arise. Breach of contract cases are resolved on a case-by-case basis because the specific contract creates the parties' rights. A party to an employment agreement may be liable for damages in breaching the contract. Such damages are contract based, as Texas does not recognize a general tort of "wrongful termination" of an employment agreement. If some how a third party is responsible for your termination, then you may have a cause of action against that party for damages you incurred. Cases are usually filed because of a breach by the employer.

The most common way in which an employer breaches an employment contract is by wrongfully terminating an employee. If an employer terminates an employee who is under contract for a definite period of time, the employer faces the possibility of liability for breach of contract. If the termination is for "good cause," then the employer is relieved of liability. Even if the employment contract is silent on the issue of good cause, the good cause exception to liability still applies.

Texas law also recognizes that an employee may be constructively terminated by an employer. Constructive discharge occurs when the employer makes conditions so intolerable that the employee feels compelled to resign. Texas uses an objective test when determining whether a constructive discharge has occurred. The court considers whether a reasonable person in the employee's situation would have felt compelled to resign. The analysis is two part: (1) whether the working conditions were objectively intolerable; and (2) whether a reasonable person would have responded to the intolerable conditions by resigning. If the court finds that constructive discharge occurred, then the employer may be liable for breach of an employment contract.

However, the Waco Court of Appeals has recently departed from that standard in the context of employment contracts. In a recent 2004 case, the court of appeals reversed the trial court's jury instruction on constructive discharge, finding that rather than using the constructive discharge test borrowed from discrimination cases, the test articulated in an old Texas Supreme Court case, is the appropriate standard for constructive discharge cases involving breach of contract. This case states that an employer may be found to have breached an employment contract if the employer "make[s] a material change in the position to which [the employee] was entitled under the contract." The Texas Supreme Court has granted petition to review the case, so employers are advised to monitor the outcome and see which constructive discharge standard prevails.

Do I Have A Breach of Employment Contract Case in Texas?

Wrongful Termination Information Center

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Houston, Texas 77027
Tel: (713) 893-0022

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