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What to Do if Your Job is On the Line



Being fired is a common fear these days. Here are a few tips to help you if you think you're in the firing line.

If you hear or are told outright by your employer that some jobs have to go and yours “might” be one of them, what can you do about it? It’s a worrying prospect for many who rely on their regular income to cover mortgages, car loans, school fees, food bills, and all the other expenses of living. What you can do about it depends on the size of the company you work for, your skill level and experience, where you live, the status of employment in your area, etc. If you are afraid of being fire for other reasons, there are still steps you can take, so first let’s take a look at being laid off/made redundant.

 

 

 

1. Get the Truth.
Find out first if YOUR job is on the firing line. You may be worrying for nothing. Don’t just ask other employees – they may merely repeat rumors and gossip. Either have a confidential chat with your immediate Manager, or make an appointment with the Human Resources Manager. There’s no point “worrying” unless you have to.

2. Use Your Contacts
If your job is in jeopardy, depending on your current role, you may be able to put yourself in a position of availability to “head hunters” from other companies. Make contact with people in other organizations and ask about job possibilities, or you can contact the H.R. Managers of other companies and ask them if it is worthwhile submitting your Resume. If you are a member of an association, it’s time to network. Let it be known among those in positions to help you that you are in need of a new position… but be discreet.

3. Update Your Resume
Don’t leave it until the bell tolls before you start sending out job applications and your resume. What if you are not going to “lose your job” for another three months, but it takes 3-6 months before you find another one? Can you afford to wait that long? Start applying now. If you find a job quickly, whether you see out your remaining time with your existing employer or not will depend on whether your “new” employer is prepared to wait. It’s hard when you have feelings of loyalty to your existing employer, but they are planning to get rid of you soon… right now you need to be looking out for yourself.

 

4. Know Your Entitlements
If staying until the end, make sure you know your entitlements. What settlement is the company offering you? Have you received a termination agreement with everything set out? If in doubt, have it checked by a professional. You have legal recourse if the company does not pay you what you are entitled to under your agreement with them and state and federal laws, and even union rules (if applicable to you) governing such things as redundancy packages etc. In addition to this, find out if you are eligible for any government unemployment benefits – in case you need them.

5. Get References Before You Go
Make sure you get references before you leave the company. You will need them.

 


Not Leaving Because of a layoff
Now let’s say you are afraid of being fired for other reasons. Perhaps you made one too many mistakes, or your boss doesn't like you, or you are being discriminated against for reasons of sex, race, religion or whatever. If you haven’t actually been fired “yet”, try to find ways to overcome the situation that is threatening you. Can you transfer to a different department? Would a word with your Manager help clear things up? Is there anything you can do to put things “right” or fix them?

If not, and the threat of being fired is REAL, consider this:

1. Records and Proof
The MOST important step is to keep a diary of all communications, verbal or otherwise, between yourself and others at your place of employment, including any discriminatory behavior/comments. The problem with a diary is that fact that a fake witness can trump what you say unless you have physical records. Ways you can do this are to use copies of emails from your boss or another employee, a tape/digital recorder(Run anywhere from $20-$50, I recommend the Sony ICD-BX700 Digital Voice Recorder to the right, I use it and it picks up sounds even tucked inside of a pocket) which are small and compact and allow you to record information your boss or a co-worker tell you, other options are video recordings through your phone.

The point is you need physical proof and this is VERY important to make sure you have this type of proof available. If you have a "personal" meeting make sure you record the conversation as you will need this for you for proof as it is legal to record a conversation between you and another individual as per Texas law. Texas's wiretapping law is a "one-party consent" law. Texas makes it a crime to intercept or record any "wire, oral, or electronic communication" unless one party to the conversation consents. Texas Penal Code § 16.02 (link is to the Penal Code; you need to choose Chapter 16 and then the specific provision). Therefore, if you operate in Texas, you may record a conversation or phone call if you are a party to the conversation or you get permission from one party to the conversation in advance. That said, if you intend to record conversations involving people located in more than one state, you should play it safe and get the consent of all parties. The law does not cover oral communications when the speakers do not have an "expectation that such communication is not subject to interception under circumstances justifying such expectation." See Texas Crim. Proc. Code § 18.20 (link is to the Code of Criminal Procedure; you need to choose Chapter 18 and then the specific provision). Therefore, you may be able to record in-person conversations occurring in a public place, such as a street or a restaurant, without consent.



 

 

In addition to subjecting you to criminal prosecution, violating the wiretapping law can expose you to a civil lawsuit for damages by an injured party. Texas Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 123.002 (link is the Code of Civil Practice and Remedies; you need to choose Chapter 123 and then the specific provision).

Consult the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press's Can We Tape?: Texas for more information on Texas wiretapping law. Please check all laws and with a legal professional before proceeding in each state you are in.

2. Talk To Your Union
If you are with a Union, you might like to get advice now rather than leave it too late. For all you know, there may be something else you can do to save your job, especially if it is through discriminatory actions or unfair harassment. If you are not with a Union, contact a legal professional or an employment professional to find out your rights. Even if you are fired, you do have rights. And when you are fired, you still have rights. Have you been unfairly dismissed? You can make a claim if you have. You are also entitled to a settlement payout if you have been fired, so make sure you receive all your entitlements. If you can, find someone “friendly” to give you a good, written reference before you leave.

The Union Member's Complete Guide: Everything You Want -- And Need -- To Know About Working Union

3. Make Sure Your Resume is Up to Date
If you are not that happy where you are, update your resume and start looking for a new job. You might consider doing this anyway, particularly if your dismissal has been unpleasant and you have been awarded your job back again… you may find the “after” treatment not much of an improvement on the “before” treatment.

 
 
 
 
 

Additional Information provided by Terri Levine.

 

 

 
 
 
Disclaimer: The information presented in these pages is for educational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice.
Every case is different, and the correct legal answer always depends on the facts of the individual case. If you want a legal opinion
about your own employment law problem, you should seek help from a licensed attorney.
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You are able to file unemployment with the Texas Workforce Commission from any of these cities listed below in the State of Texas:

* Abbott * Abernathy * Abilene * Ackerly * Addison * Adelphi * Adrian * Agua Dulce * Alamo Heights * Alamo * Albany * Aledo * Alice * Allen * Alleyton * Alpine * Alton * Alvarado * Alvin * Amarillo * Ames * Amherst * Anahuac * Anderson * Andrews * Angleton * Angus * Anna * Anson * Antelope * Anton * Appleby * Aquilla * Aransas Pass * Archer City * Arcola * Argyle * Arlington * Arp * Asherton * Athens * Atlanta * Aubrey * Austin * Austwell * Azle * Bailey's Prairie * Bailey * Baird * Balch Springs * Balcones Heights * Ballinger * Balmorhea * Bandera * Bangs * Bardwell * Barrett * Barry * Barstow * Bartlett * Bastrop * Bay City * Baytown * Bayview * Bayou Vista * Baytown * Beach City * Bean Station * Beasley * Beaumont * Beckville * Bedford * Bedias * Bee Cave * Beeville * Bellaire * Bellevue * Bellmead * Bells * Bellville * Belton * Benavides * Benbrook * Benjamin * Bertram * Beverly Hills * Bevil Oaks * Big Lake * Big Spring * Big Wells * Bishop * Black * Blackfoot * Blackwell * Blanco * Blanket * Blossom * Blue Mound * Blue Ridge * Boerne * Bogata * Bolivar Peninsula * Bonham * Boonville * Bootleg * Borger * Bovina * Bowie * Brackettville * Brady * Brazoria * Brazos Bend * Brazos Country * Breckenridge * Bremond * Brenham * Briaroaks * Bridge City * Bridgeport * Brookshire * Brookside Village * Browndell * Brownfield * Brownsboro * Brownsville * Brownwood * Bruceville-Eddy * Bryan * Bryson * Buda * Buffalo * Bulverde * Bullard * Bulverde * Bunker Hill Village * Burkburnett * Burke * Burleson * Burnet * Byers * Cactus * Caddo Mills * Caldwell * Callisburg * Calvert * Cameron * Camp Wood * Campbell * Canadian * Canton * Canyon * Hill * Carmine * Carrizo Springs * Carrollton * Carthage * Cashion Community * Castle Hills * Castroville * Cedar Hill * Cedar Park * Celeste * Center * Center City * Centerville * Chandler * Channelview * Channing * Charlotte * Chapel Hill * Chester * Chico * Childress * Chillicothe * Chilton * China * China Grove * Chireno * Chocolate Bayou 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Pleasant * Mt. Sylvan * Mt. Vernon * Muenster * Munday * Murphy * Nacogdoches * Naples * Nassau Bay * Navasota * Nederland * Needville * Negro Crossing * Neiderwald * Nesbitt * New Boston * New Braunfels * New Caney * New Falcon * New Harmony * Newcastle * Newton * New Ulm * New Waverly * Neylandville * Nixon * Noonday * North Cleveland * North Richland Hills * North Zulch * Oak Cliff * Oak Leaf * Oak Point * Oatmeal * Odem * Odessa * Old River-Winfree * Olfen * Omaha * Olmito * Olton * Onalaska * Orange * Orangefield * Orange Grove * Ore City * Orient * Overton * Owentown * Ozona * Paducah * Paint Rock * Paige * Palacios * Palmhurst * Palmview * Palm Valley * Pampa * Panna Maria * Pantego * Paradise * Paris * Parker * Pasadena * Pearland * Pecan Gap * Pecos * Perryton * Pflugerville * Pharr * Pilot Point * Pine Forest * Pineland * Pittsburg * Plainview * Plano * Plantersville * Pleasanton * Plum Grove * Ponder * Point Comfort * Port Aransas * Port Arthur * Port Isabel * Port Lavaca * Port Mansfield * Port Neches * Porter * Port O'Connor * Portland * Post * Post Oak Bend City * Poteet * Pottsboro * Prairie View * Prairie Hill (Washington County) * Premont * Presidio * Primera * Princeton * Progreso * Progreso Lakes * Prosper * Quanah * Queen City * Quinlan * Quitaque * Quitman * Raisin * Ralls * Rancho Viejo * Ranger * Rangerville * Rankin * Ravenna * Raymondville * Red Bird * Red Hill * Red Oak * Red Springs (Baylor County) * Red Springs (Smith County) * Refugio * Reklaw * Reno * Rhome * Richardson * Richland * Richmond * Riesel * Rio Grande City * Rio Hondo * Rios * Rising Star * River Oaks * Riviera * Roanoke * Robinson * Roby * Rockdale * Rocket * Rockport * Rockwall * Roma * Ropesville * Rosalie * Rose City * Rose Hill Acres * Rosebud * Rosenberg * Rosharon * Rosser * Rotan * Round Rock * Round Top * Rowena * Rowlett * Royse City * Rucker * Rusk * Sachse * Sacul * Sadler * Saginaw * Saint Jo * Salado * San Angelo * San Antonio * San Benito * San Diego * San Juan * San Marcos * San Perlita * San Saba * Sanco * Sanctuary * Sanderson * Sanger * Santa Anna * Santa Fe * Santa Rosa * Santo * Sarita * Savoy * Schertz * Scottsville * Scroggins * Scurry * Seabrook * Seagoville * Sealy * Sebastian * Seguin * Seminole * Seymour * Shallowater * Shamrock * Shavano Park * Shenandoah * Sheldon * Sherman * Shreveport * Shiner * Shoreacres * Silsbee * Silver * Sinton * Skellytown * Slaton * Smithville * Smyer * Snyder * Somerville * Sonora * Sour Lake * South Padre Island * Southlake * Southmayd * Spearman * Splendora, Texas * Spring * Spring Branch * Spring Valley Village * Springtown * Spur * Stafford * Star * Sterling City * Stephenville * Stinnett * Stowell * Strawn * Study Butte * Sugar Land * Sullivan City * Sulphur Springs * Sunnyvale * Swan * Sweeny * Sweetwater * Taft * Tahoka * Talco * Talty * Taylor * Taylor Landing * Teague * Temple * Tenaha * Tennyson * Terlingua * Terrell * Texarkana * Texas City * Texhoma * The Colony * The Woodlands * Thornton * Thompson (Fake, does not exist) * Throckmorton * Tiki Island * Tilden * Timpson * Tioga * Tito * Toco * Toledo * Tom Bean * Tomball * Tool * Trinidad * Trinity * Trophy Club * Troup * Tulia * Turkey * Tuscola * Turnersville * Tyler * Uhland * Umbarger * Uncertain * Union Grove * Union Valley * Universal City * University Park * Utley * Utopia * Uvalde * Valley Mills * Valley View * Van * Van Alstyne * Vancourt * Vanderbilt * Vanderpool * Van Horn * Van Vleck * Venus * Veribest * Vernon * Vick * Victoria * Vidor * Volente * Von Ormy * Waco * Wall * Waller * Watermelon * Waskom * Watauga * Water Valley * Waterloo * Waxahachie * Weatherford * Webberville * Webster * Weimar * Welch * Weslaco * West * West Columbia * West Lake Hills * West Orange * West Tawakoni * West University Place * Westlake * Westover Hills * Westworth Village * Wharton * Wheeler * Wheelock * White Oak * White Settlement * Whitehouse * Wichita Falls * Willow Park * Wimberley * Windcrest * Wingate * Winnie * Winnsboro * Winona * Winters * Wixon Valley * Wolfe City * Woodlake * Woodlands * Woodlawn * Woodsboro * Woodville * Woodway * Wortham * Wylie * Yancey * Yantis * Yoakum * Yorktown * Zapata * Zavalla * Zephyer