In Texas, there is no requirement that an employer give a terminated employee the reason why he/she is being terminated. Texas is an at-will state, which means an employee can be fired for any or no reason. However, common sense tells us that no one takes an action, like firing an employee, without some reason. The employer is generally better off by not telling the employee the reason so that it can’t be used against them. One way to find out the reason is to file for unemployment and if the employer protests the application, then the employer will have to state the reason to the Workforce Commission in order to prove that the employee either quit or was guilty of some misconduct which would prevent receipt of unemployment compensation. If the company protests, there will be a recorded hearing before the hearing examiner, who will rule on the matter. This testimony can be used against the employer in a subsequent wrongful termination suit; however, the employee can’t sue the employer for statements made in the hearing because they are privileged. But, an admission or inconsistency in the hearing can be used as evidence in a later suit.
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