Midland Judicial Dist. Cscd v. Jones

Decision Date27 June 2002
Docket NumberNo. 01-0557.,01-0557.
Citation92 S.W.3d 486
PartiesMIDLAND JUDICIAL DISTRICT COMMUNITY SUPERVISION AND CORRECTIONS DEPARTMENT, Petitioner, v. Ruthie Ann JONES, Respondent.
CourtTexas Supreme Court

Holly Beth Williams, John A. "Jad" Davis, Jr., Turner Davis & Gerald, Midland, for Petitioner.

Jay H. "Timber" Floyd, Jr., Midland, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM.

The issue in this case is whether the respondent's employment with the petitioner was for a fixed term or at-will. Because we conclude that there was no fixed term of employment, we reverse the court of appeals' judgment, 77 S.W.3d 838 and render judgment that the employee take nothing by her claims against the employer.

On July 30, 1993, the Midland Judicial District Community Supervision and Corrections Department (CSCD) informed Ruthie Ann Jones that she had been hired as a Pretrial Services Administrative Technician III. At that time, she was given a memorandum that stated that she would start work on August 9, 1993. The memorandum also discussed her salary:

Your salary adjustments as a result of this new position are as follows:

                9/1/93     $1,558.00  Monthly  Gross  Salary
                1/1/94     $1,572.00  Monthly  Gross  Salary
                4/1/94     $1,585.00  Monthly  Gross  Salary
                9/1/94     $1,599.00  Monthly  Gross  Salary
                

These salary figures are contingent upon your future performance evaluations and available county funding.

In December 1993, Jones' position was eliminated due to budget constraints. Jones filed suit against the CSCD, alleging wrongful termination and breach of employment contract. The trial court granted CSCD's motion for summary judgment on the ground that Jones was an at-will employee. The court of appeals held that Jones' employment was for a fixed term, reversed the trial court's summary judgment, and remanded the case for trial.

In Montgomery County Hospital District v. Brown, 965 S.W.2d 501, 502 (Tex. 1998), we reiterated that employment is presumed to be at-will in Texas:

For well over a century, the general rule in this State, as in most jurisdictions, has been that absent a specific agreement to the contrary, employment may be terminated by the employer or the employee for good cause, bad cause, or no cause at all.

In Montgomery County, the employee testified that she had been told that she would keep her job "as long as [she] was doing [her] job and that [she] would not be fired unless there was a good reason or good cause...." Montgomery County, 965 S.W.2d at 502. We concluded that...

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42 cases
  • Williamson v. American National Insurance Company
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of Texas
    • March 2, 2010
    ...be terminated by the employer or the employee for good cause, bad cause or no cause at all. Midland Judicial Dist. Cmty. Supervision & Corrections Dep't v. Jones, 92 S.W.3d 486, 487 (Tex.2002); Montgomery County Hosp. Dist. v. Brown, 965 S.W.2d 501, 502 (Tex.1998). Employment-at-will status......
  • Miller v. Raytheon Aircraft Co.
    • United States
    • Texas Court of Appeals
    • April 19, 2007
    ...the employee except under clearly specified circumstances." Brown, 965 S.W.2d at 502; see also Midland Judicial Dist. Cmty. Supervision & Corr. Dep't v. Jones, 92 S.W.3d 486, 487 (Tex.2002). In a Rule 166a(i) no-evidence summary judgment, the movant represents that no evidence exists as to ......
  • Ed Rachal Foundation v. D'Unger
    • United States
    • Texas Court of Appeals
    • August 29, 2003
    ...App.-Austin 1995, writ denied). One cannot imply the modification; it must be express. Midland Judicial Dist. Cmty. Supervision & Corr. Dep't v. Jones, 92 S.W.3d 486, 487 (Tex.2002)(per curiam); Brown, 965 S.W.2d at 503-04. The agreement must directly limit, in a "meaningful and special way......
  • Brooks v. Aaa Cooper Transp.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of Texas
    • March 18, 2011
    ...clear that absent an express agreement to the contrary, employment is presumed to be at-will. See Midland Judicial Dist. Cmty. Supervision & Corr. Dep't v. Jones, 92 S.W.3d 486, 487 (Tex.2002) (citing Montgomery Cnty. Hosp. Dist. v. Brown, 965 S.W.2d 501, 502 (Tex.1998)). “In order for an e......
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15 books & journal articles
  • Wrongful Discharge
    • United States
    • James Publishing Practical Law Books Archive Texas Employment Law. Volume 1 - 2014 Part I. The Employment Relationship
    • August 16, 2014
    ...because the parties enter into a written contract of employment. See Midland Judicial Dist. Cmty. Supervision and Corrs. Dep’t v. Jones , 92 S.W.3d 486, 488 (Tex. 2002) (an employer’s written memorandum describing the employer’s decision to hire the plaintiff, and indicating that the stated......
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    • James Publishing Practical Law Books Archive Texas Employment Law. Volume 1 - 2017 Part I. The employment relationship
    • August 9, 2017
    ...clearly specified circumstances or conditions. Midland Judicial District Community Supervision and Corrections Department v. Jones , 92 S.W. 3d 486, 488 (Tex. 2002). General comments that an employee will not be discharged as long as his work is satisfactory do not in themselves 1-9 Eආඉඅඈඒආ......
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    • James Publishing Practical Law Books Archive Texas Employment Law. Volume 1 - 2017 Part I. The employment relationship
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    • James Publishing Practical Law Books Archive Texas Employment Law. Volume 2 - 2016 Part VIII. Selected Litigation Issues
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    ...Country, Inc. v. Holten , 168 S.W.3d 777 (Tex. 2005), §2:3.F.2 Midland Judicial Dist. Cmty. Supervision and Corrs. Dep’t v. Jones , 92 S.W.3d 486 (Tex. 2002), §§1:3.A, 1:3.B.2, 3:2.A.1, 3:2.B Mid-South Bottling Co. v. Cigainero , 799 S.W.2d 385 (Tex. App.—Texarkana 1990, writ denied), §31:3......
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