Search Site

Demystifying the Texas Whistleblower Act

I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death. — Leonard Da Vinci

When first reporting the illegal or unethical activity witnessed on the job, an employee may be called a snitch or disloyal. The reporting employee’s employment and livelihood could be at risk if the employer attempts to retaliate because of the whistleblower’s risky revelation.

What is the Texas Whistleblower Act?

The Texas Whistleblower Act proscribes a state or city government from acting adversely in employment against a public employee who in good faith informed an appropriate law enforcement authority of a violation of law by the employing governmental entity or another public employee. The law further provides injunctive and compensatory relief for the whistleblower who was retaliated against.

A closer examination of the key elements

The Texas Whistleblower Act contains several key elements that need to be clearly defined in order to understand the law’s applicability.

  • Public employee — The whistleblower must be working for the state or local government
  • In good faith informed — The public employee must subjectively believe that the law was violated and this belief must also be objectively reasonable
  • Informed an appropriate law enforcement authority — A  public employee who informs the director of the governmental agency in which he works of illegal activity failed to inform an appropriate law enforcement authority; the Texas Supreme Court declared that an appropriate law enforcement authority must have the enforcement and investigative powers to prosecute violations of law against parties outside of the entity itself
  • Adverse personnel action — The whistleblower’s employer must have taken negative employment actions against him including, for example, demotion, decrease in salary, transfer, suspension and termination, formal reprimands or severe harassment

When to file and what to gain?

A suit pursuant to the Texas Whistleblower Act must be filed within 90 days of the date of the last act of adverse employment action.  A public employee claiming retaliation may sue for the following:

  • Actual damages such as lost wages
  • Injunctive relief such as reinstatement to position with its seniority rights
  • Court costs
  • Reasonable lawyer fees

If you suspect that you have been retaliated against in your employment because you blew the whistle on another employee or the employer, it is important to consult with a Texas whistleblower attorney to discuss the merits of your claim and possible relief.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Awards & Honors
Our Office
  • Dallas Office
    4514 Cole Ave
    Dallas, Texas 75205
    Phone: 214-306-8045
    Fax: 469-729-9926
As Seen In
In his new book, "Standing Up to China: How a Whistleblower Risked Everything for His Country," former client & Author, Ashley Yablon, quotes Attorney Steve Kardell about Whistelblower Law.
  • "Steve Kardell was terrific in representing me in some very adversarial discussions with Citigroup and also later represented me in my testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission."  -Richard Bowen, Citigroup Whistleblower

  • "Incredible knowledge of employee related concerns and equally brilliant knowledge of health care regulations, standards of practice. I would recommend this firm to anyone."  -V.B.

  • "Reaching out to Steve Kardell was the best decision I made. His ability to provide immediate insight and direction was very powerful, and a huge relief during a very stressful time period. For anyone struggling with a whistleblower situation, I would highly recommend at least speaking with Steve. After a 10 minute call with him, I had a better understanding of what I was dealing with. Even better, he gave me some immediate hope. In the end Steve did a better job than I thought was possible. Steve was able to get in contact with people in my organization, that I didn’t have access to. Because of his years of experience, he already has contacts in many organizations in Dallas. The entire situation was handled peacefully. I was impressed by his ability to “keep the peace”–rather than creating a battle with the organization. The reason I didn’t reach out to a lawyer initially, was because I thought it would mean an immediate end to any hope of a positive relationship with the company. Steve was able to address my concerns, and in the end I was able to continue to work for them."  -KS

  • "Never thought my career would end like it did after 30 years of service. I was part of the first round of the so called reduction of force. I asked myself how can I be part of this with 30 years of seniority. How did they pick these 90 plus employees? Now, the culture of this organization made you question every decision they made. It wasn’t what you knew it’s was a culture of who you know. Nonetheless, I did not accept their severance package. I immediately starting looking for an attorney who would take on my case. After the initial call to Steve I had hope again. He was open and honest about everything and reassured me he would do his best for me, and he did. I had an awesome outcome. Thanks Steve you’re the best."  -S.S.