Your boss may terminate your employment for many different reasons. It may be something that you did wrong, or it may be because of a need to reorganize the company or cut costs.
In either case, you have certain rights even as your employment is coming to an end. Chron.com outlines your former employer’s obligations to you.
If you are under a contract, your employer must comply with its terms in choosing to let you go. Otherwise, it represents a breach of contract, and you may be able to take legal action on grounds of wrongful termination.
Texas’ laws of at-will employment grant employers greater leeway when it comes to terminating employees who are not under contract. However, if your firing was discriminatory, e.g., based on a protected status such as your age, race, gender or religion, your employer is liable for civil damages.
The law requires that you receive payment for any of the work that you performed for your employer prior to your termination. However, the laws of different states vary as to when you should receive your final paycheck. In Texas, you must receive it within six days after your termination, or the next business day if the sixth day is one on which the company normally remains closed.
If you received health insurance from your employer prior to your termination, he or she must continue to offer it under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. However, your former employer does not have to help you pay for it, and the premium may be prohibitively expensive, especially when you are out of work. You can also apply for unemployment benefits if your termination was not your own fault, e.g., a lay-off.
At-will employment does not require your employer to give you prior notice of your termination. However, many do so anyway as a matter of company policy.