Employees who report wrongdoing at their work often face very real and serious risks of retaliation. Sometimes referred to as “whistleblowers,” there are certain laws that may provide protection to these employees, however, the laws are often very complicated, often provide only limited protection, and require the employee to take very specific steps to be protected. If you have “blown the whistle” at your job or are contemplating reporting illegal or unethical actions at work, it is very important to know your actual legal rights and the limits of those rights. Contact Crews Law Firm at (512) 346-7077 or click here to schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers to discuss whether you may have protection as a “whistleblower.”
For example, the Texas Whistleblower Act, Chapter 554, Texas Government Code, prohibits retaliation against an employee of a state or local governmental body who in good faith reports a violation of law by an agency or public employee to an appropriate law enforcement authority. Numerous decisions by the Texas Supreme Court have whittled away at the rights of employees under this law. Decisions have restricted the meaning of what is an “appropriate law enforcement authority” and “good faith.” Additionally, it is important to act very quickly in whistleblower cases because the law has very short, 90 day deadlines to take action. Another “whistleblower” type of action that protects government employees is the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The First Amendment protects all government employees from retaliation for speaking out as a citizen on a matter of public concern.
The Texas Whistleblower Act and the First Amendment only protect government employees, however, there are certain other “whistleblower” type laws that may protect employees of private companies from retaliation. These laws also are very specific, and can be very limited and complicated. Contact Crews Law Firm at (512) 346-7077 or click here to schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers to discuss whether you may have protection as a “whistleblower.”
For more information on employment law and the types of evidence used in employment law cases, click here for an article written by Crews Law Firm Attorney Robert W. Schmidt published in the Texas Bar Journal.
Additional articles on employment law written by Robert W. Schmidt also can be found in his attorney profile.
For additional information on employment law, also visit the Workplace Fairness website at http://www.workplacefairness.org/.