What Should I Do If I Was Fired for Whistleblowing?
Blowing the whistle on your employer is often a brave act that keeps people safe, but it comes with grave risks that employees must take seriously. If your employer retaliates, you may have limited legal options, especially in Texas. However, the law does provide some protection for whistleblowers that a lawyer committed to protecting your interests can help you pursue.
What Is a Whistleblower?
A whistleblower reports his or her employer for illegal acts. The illegal activity can take many forms, such as violating health and safety regulations or acting in a discriminatory way.
Whistleblowers report when they, as employees, have been pressured to perform certain acts or when their boss has otherwise violated the law.
What Protections Do I Have as a Whistleblower?
In Texas, there are several circumstances where your boss cannot fire or punish you for whistleblowing or refusing to perform certain acts. These include:
- Refusal to perform an illegal act that carries criminal penalties
- Reporting suspected child abuse
- Evacuating under an evacuation order
- Filing a complaint, assisting an inspector, or exercising a right to information about hazardous chemicals
- Reporting Medicare fraud
- Reporting health and safety violations
- Reporting violations in assisted living, hospitals or other health care facilities
- Reporting violations by government employers
- Filing a good faith workers’ compensation claim
In addition, several federal statutes provide protection to employees who report employer actions that harm the environment, inhibit safe public transportation, and endanger others.
If you have been fired or punished for any protected whistleblower activity, you might be able to file a lawsuit against your former employer.
What Should I Do If There Is Employer Retaliation?
You should speak with an attorney even if you have not been fired. If your pay has decreased, you were transferred to a lower position, or you were given poor shifts or fewer hours; know that the law may also consider this action as retaliation. A Texas lawyer who is dedicated to serving employees — not employers — can give you specific advice and file a claim on your behalf.
How Does Wrongful Termination Tie Into Whistleblowing?
If you stand up for yourself and sue your employer, your action will likely take the form of a wrongful termination claim. This claim alleges your employer ended your employment in violation of Texas law. A lawyer can make this claim for you, even if you still have your job but your employer mistreats you because of your whistleblowing activity.
You do not have to suffer because you chose to do the right thing. Contact attorney Glenn D. Levy in San Antonio, Texas to learn more about the steps you can take to protect yourself.