When an employee in Texas witnesses what appears to be unethical or illegal activity in the workplace, he or she may try to do the right thing by speaking up about it. However, the individual may end up losing his or her job as a result, which is illegal. In one out-of-state case, a woman claimed she was wrongfully terminated from her city job after engaging in whistleblower action, and she has filed a lawsuit against the mayor of the city.
The woman is a former city administrator. She alleged that she was terminated after reporting that the mayor might have been redirecting charitable money that the city had received and using it for her own political benefit. She essentially blew the whistle on the top official of the city.
The woman's attorney said that when the woman reported the activity, she was not sure if it was illegal or not. According to the attorney, she simply saw what she felt was a red flag and thus decided to report it. At the time of her firing, the woman claimed she was told that she was being terminated because the state was not able to fund her salary any longer. When the woman pointed out that the city, not the state, paid her salary, she reportedly received no response before being escorted out of her workplace.
It is unlawful for an employer to retaliate against a worker who has engaged in whistleblower action, but this situation still happens in Texas workplaces. Employees who are retaliated against for being whistleblowers have the right to seek to hold their employers accountable through the civil court system. Appropriate legal guidance may help these workers to protect their rights and obtain proper solutions.
Source: fox2detroit.com, "Whistleblower lawsuit filed against Flint mayor over donations", Taryn Asher, May 9, 2016