In litigation, the American Rule means that in a legal dispute, both parties are responsible for their own attorneys’ fees. No matter who the victor, each party pays their own way. For two large companies with sufficient funds to litigate a matter, this rule may not be very harsh.
As you may hear over and over again, Texas is an at-will employment state. What that means is that there are limited protections for employees in the workplace. At-will employment means that employers can change the terms and conditions of a person’s employment, discipline an employee, or even terminate an employee for any reason or no reason at all. The actions of the employer may be unfair, they may be unreasonable, they may even be based off false allegations, but that does not mean that an employer’s actions are unlawful.
For an employer’s actions to be unlawful, the employer’s actions must be based on unlawful motivations. Unlawful motivations would be things like race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, or disability. These are just a few examples of the unlawful motivations an employer may have.
In today’s world we cannot ignore that social media is a huge part of our everyday lives. What you post is available for others to see. Even if your social media accounts are private, your posts are available to be seen by your family, friends, and even coworkers once you’ve accepted or extended a “Friend Request.”
But, that’s my private life, right? It can’t affect my employment, right? Wrong.
Social Media and Applying for a Job
We all know that the First Amendment gives us the right to free speech. But, when it comes to the First Amendment, what you don’t know can hurt you.
TRUE: The First Amendment allows people to express their views.
FALSE: The First Amendment protects employees from termination.
First Amendment protection and job protection are not intertwined.
Many private sector employees fail to realize that their right to free speech does not prevent employers from limiting that speech. Freedom of speech in the workplace protects public sector (i.e., government) employees.