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Whistleblower protections — Texas

Private employers

Private employers can be sued for retaliating against “whistleblowers” in certain limited contexts. The Texas Supreme Court has made an exception to the employment at-will rule allowing a former employee to sue any private employer for wrongful termination if the employee can prove that he or she was terminated solely for refusing to comply with the employer’s request that he or she engage in a criminal act. Other whistleblower laws provide causes of action to the employees of narrower classes of private employers. For instance, one statute enables employees of healthcare facilities to sue their employers if they are retaliated against for reporting in good faith the violation of a law.

Public employers

The Whistleblower’s Act applies generally to Texas public employers, including:

  • state, regional, county, local or municipal government entities (whether executive, judicial or legislative)
  • any official, officer, department, division, bureau, commission, authority or political subdivision therein
  • any public school, community college or state university.

The public employer cannot suspend or terminate the employment of...

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