An employee can be put in a very difficult position when his employer orders him to perform an illegal act. Eagerness to please one’s boss, fear of losing one’s job, and uncertainty about what is “normal” in a given industry can be strong motivations to follow illegal orders. In situations like this, it is important to remember that if you are caught committing a criminal act, the fact that you were following your employer’s instructions will not diminish your legal responsibility.
If your employer attempts to coerce you into breaking the law, contact Austin employment lawyers Dominic Audino and Andrew Traub.
Retaliation for Refusal to Perform an Illegal Act
Unfortunately, employees with the foresight and integrity to defy their employers can suffer serious and illegal penalties as a result. When employers harass workers as punishment for defying illegal orders, or to intimidate them into following orders, this is known as retaliation.
Common forms of workplace retaliation include:
- Wrongful termination
- Unwarranted punishments or negative appraisals
- Pervasive insulting or threatening behavior
Legal Protection against Retaliation
Although Texas is an at-will employment state, meaning that most workers can quit or be fired for almost any reason, there is legal protection for employers who refuse to commit crimes for their employers. Both state and federal laws recognize people’s right to obey the law without fear of repercussions in their workplace. Taking legal action against your employer can help you win compensation for lost wages and the abuse you have suffered.