Whistleblowers play an important role in Texas workplaces. When illegal or unjust activities are occurring behind the doors of a business, employees are often placed in the uncomfortable position of complying or losing their job. Unfortunately, whistleblowers often have to deal with retaliation following such a report.
While some may believe that retaliation for a good deed is uncommon, it became necessary at one point to enact a law against the act. The Texas Whistleblower Act is meant to protect employees from retaliation from either state or local governments, but one ex-government employee believes that act was never upheld for her. In Dec. 2012, she was fired from her post as a finance director following her report for various violations by the city manager.
An appeal of her termination determined that she should be reinstated to her post, but the city manager refused to comply. The lawsuit for wrongful termination moved forward, although another employee pursuing a similar claim was forced to withdraw due to burgeoning legal fees. Since then, there has apparently been little progress.
Part of why the Texas city employee believes she is being retaliated against includes the refusal to process a check that was written for alcohol, which is prohibited. She also apparently raised concerns about an employee who was given a raise without the required approval by the city council. As the retaliation case has been ongoing since 2013, the employee has incurred a significant amount of legal fees associated with her claim. If she is ultimately able to successfully navigate her claim to completion, she may be entitled to legal fees in addition to any other related damages for which she may be eligible.
Source: kdhnews.com, "Whistleblower suit against Killeen still far from resolution", Natalie Stewart, Dec. 7, 2014