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You can sue your employer if you are fired for refusing to do an illegal act, the reason for your termination must be only the refusal to do an illegal act an no other reason. This is known as sole cause.

Written by Mr. Roger Davie on Wednesday, 30 Nov 2016.

The cause of action for refusing to do an illegal act in Texas  requires a plaintiff to prove that refusal to commit an illegal act was the “sole” reason for the discharge. The “sole” reason standard is more difficult to satisfy than the “motivating factor” standard of for most wrongful termination claims, and it might even require more than the “but for” cause standard of other employment laws.  In Peine v. HIT Services L.P., 479 S.W.3d 445 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist. 2015), the court of appeals approved of a dismissal of the employees case because the plaintiff’s evidence fell short of the sole cause standard.  The employee  accountant basically argued that he was fired after he refused to inflate the profits of the company in violation of the law.  The employer stated that it did not fire him for refusing to do an illegal act, but fired him because he sent confidential documents to a newspaper.  The employee argued that because he was fired eight months after his refusal there was evidence that the sole cause of his termination was the refusal to do an illegal act, but the Court stated that eight months was too long to presume it was for the refusal to do an illegal act and that it was just as likely that the sending confidential documents to the newspaper was a factor so therefore the refusal to do an illegal act was not the sole cause of the termination. 

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