On January 11, 2018, after a 2-day trial, a Harris County jury ruled in favor of Sud Law P.C.’s client in a Sabine Pilot wrongful termination case, finding that the plaintiff/employee was wrongfully discharged by her employer for refusing to commit a criminal act.
Most wrongful termination laws are created by the state or federal legislature. However, a Sabine Pilot claim is the only judicially created exception in Texas to the at-will doctrine and requires the plaintiff to prove that the sole reason of his/her termination was for refusing to commit a criminal act. It’s an extremely high burden and rarely asserted.
Through its verdict, the jury recognized that the plaintiff, a tax preparer, was fired for refusing to aid or assist in the preparation of fraudulent documents to present to the IRS.
The case is: Ashley Coe v. Sienna Financial Services, cause no. 2017-18655, in the 127th Judicial District of Harris County, Texas.