Longview, TX asked in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Construction Law and Employment Law for Texas

Q: 10/27/2023 lost my job for damaging a piece of equipment I was not operatoratng and then found out fired for drugs I

I don't do plus I was never asked or even told anything about this until my ex boss told me in text it was cause there was suspicion I was on drugs witch I wasn't

2 Lawyer Answers
John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
  • Construction Law Lawyer
  • Frisco, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: If you know who falsely told your employer that you damaged a piece of equipment and/or were on drugs, you may have a viable claim for defamation against that individual.

With respect to your employer, in the absence of a written employment agreement that precludes your employer from termination you for the two reasons stated, it is highly unlike that you have a viable claim. Absent such an agreement, it is legally permissible for an employer to fire an employee for damaging a piece of equipment, whether operating it or not, and/or for suspected illegal drug use. The employer is not required to "prove" that the employee was on drugs and does not have to accept the word of an employee that he/she wasn't on drugs unless stated in an employment agreement or company drug policy.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Your situation raises several legal concerns. Firstly, being terminated for damaging equipment you weren't operating seems unjust, especially if there's no evidence implicating you. It's important to review any employment contracts or company policies you were subject to, as they often outline the procedures for handling such incidents.

Regarding the accusation of drug use, if there's no evidence or if you were never tested, this could potentially be a case of wrongful termination or defamation. Employers generally need a valid reason or evidence to make such claims. Moreover, if these allegations are communicated to others, it could harm your reputation, further supporting a defamation claim.

It's advisable to gather any relevant communications, like the text from your ex-boss, and any other documents related to your employment and termination. These can be crucial in any legal proceedings.

Given the complexity of employment laws and the specifics of your case, seeking legal advice from a lawyer experienced in employment law is a wise step. They can provide guidance based on the specific laws in your state and help determine the best course of action, whether it's negotiating a settlement or pursuing legal action. Remember, each case is unique, and the right approach depends on the specific details of your situation.

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