30 Jun 2022

Executive Termination: Do You Have a Wrongful Termination Case?

In the face of executive termination, it’s common to wonder whether you have a case for wrongful termination. Whether you are in a hostile work environment, already fired, or placed on a “performance plan,” it’s essential to understand your rights. 

Generally speaking, even executives are “at-will” employees in Texas. This means a company can let someone go for almost any reason or no reason whatsoever. Still, no one can be fired for the “wrong” reason. 

Below, we take a look at wrongful termination for executives. Understand your rights, options, and opportunities. 

What Constitutes Wrongful Termination? 

As an executive, you likely have a complex employment agreement. If your firing breaches your contract, you may have a case. This contract can be an offer letter, the terms of an employee manual, or a formal employment agreement. 

Occasionally, these cases occur without a written document. This involves an “implied contract” and consists of a breach of oral understanding in which there was a clear understanding under which you made sacrifices and that you relied on. If the employer reneges on this agreement, you may have a case. 

Additionally, wrongful termination covers events in which an employee is fired for calling attention to unsafe working conditions, fraud, or other illegal activities. It also applies to situations involving discrimination against a protected class: age, race, gender, national origin, etc.

When an employer provides a reason that disguises the actual cause for dismissal, this itself is evidence of a case. Oftentimes, employers incorrectly assume that a formal resignation by an employee shields them from liability. However, pressuring someone to resign or via significant cuts to benefits or salaries may act as evidence to have your case reviewed in court. 

Executive Separation: Damages & Negotiations

If you were recently fired or believe that your employer is pressuring you to resign for what seems to be the wrong reasons, you don’t have to accept it. You have rights, and having an advocate on your side is a great way to stand up to your employer. 

When you fight back against executive termination, you have the option to seek damages in one of two ways. 

  1. Return to your position. 
  2. Make you whole for the damage done to your career. 

When you accept a settlement for your termination, it often includes a broad range of damages. 

  • Earned, unpaid bonuses or long-term incentives 
  • Lost wages and benefits 
  • Reimbursement of expenses incurred relative to the job, such as loss of a home sale for relocation 
  • Pain and suffering to compensate for the stress to your mental, physical, and/or emotional health 
  • Outplacement assistance
  • Court costs and attorneys fees

No matter the reason behind a wrongful termination, it is a painful experience that leaves careers in jeopardy. That’s why it is crucial to understand your options and protect your best interests. When you partner with an experienced executive employment lawyer, you have an advocate to protect your rights and interests. 

If you believe you faced wrongful executive termination, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with our firm. At The Craighead Law Firm, we dedicate ourselves to being the advocates of wronged employees.