The Texas Whistleblower Act Protects Government Employees

When a public employee discovers illegal activity in their job, they have an ethical (if not a legal) duty to report it to somebody who can do something about it.  The Texas legislature enacted the Texas Whistleblower Act in 1983 to protect these employees from retaliation for making such a report.  

In order to recover under the Act, a plaintiff must show: (1) she is a public employee; (2) she acted in good faith in making a report; (3) the report involved a violation of law by an agency or employees; (4) the report was made to an appropriate law enofrcement authority; and (5) she suffered retaliation.  Tex. Gov't Code § 554.002.  Section 554.022(b) further clarifies that an “appropriate law enforcement authority” is a government official or entity that "an employee in good faith believes is authorized to regulate under or enforce the law alleged to be violated in the report or to investigate or prosecute a violation of the criminal law."  

Yesterday I was interviewed about a Whistleblower lawsuit with claims arising under the Texas Whistleblower Act, Texas common law, and the First and Fourteenth Amendments.