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How to Fire an Employee in Houston: What Not to Do

Most employers will tell you that they don't like letting people go. However, sometimes firing an employee is necessary.

For employers in these parts, this raises the question of how to fire an employee in Houston. This post will try to answer that question.

Generally, there are a number of things you need to be aware of about firing an employee in Houston. Knowing these may help you avoid some of the issues that could come up with the Texas Workforce Commission.

One: Firing an employee in Houston (or anywhere else for that matter) in the heat of the moment is not a good idea. When an employee is let go, he or she can make an unemployment claim. If so, the employer will have to show that the firing had to do with a specific act or oversight, and wasn't just done in anger. The employer will also have to show that the requisite numbers of warnings were given.

Two: Firing an employee in Houston based on race, gender or other protected characteristics is not allowed, and if you find you are about to engage in such, do not. One way you can get an idea about what constitutes discrimination is by looking at the intake form that fired employees alleging discrimination might file.

Three: Do not fire an employee as retaliation for their whistleblowing. Retaliation is any adverse action that a company takes against an employee because he or she filed a complaint about harassment or discrimination. Adverse action can include actions such as firing the employee, giving them negative evaluations, disciplining or demoting them, reassigning them or reducing their pay. Even if the original complaint of harassment or discrimination turns out to be baseless or even fabricated, the employer is still on the hook if they take any action that can be deemed retaliatory.

Obviously this is not a comprehensive list of things not to do during a firing, but it is a good place to get started. If you are unsure about how to let an employee go, you should definitely consult with an attorney. They can help you advise how to fire an employee in Houston and avoid trouble with the Texas Workforce Commission or the courts.

This post is part of FindLaw's Legal U series. We are working to help you learn what to do in your city to cope with some of the legal problems, questions, or issues that come up in daily life. Please come back to learn more from future posts in this series.

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