Whistleblowers: The Law and Protection
If you ever notice your boss or company doing something you know is wrong and illegal, you can look away and pretend you never saw it, or tell the appropriate regulatory bodies what you saw. If it’s the latter, you’ve become a whistleblower. But, is it safe to do this, and how can you protect yourself if you decide to be a whistleblower? This article will cover these.
Who is a Whistleblower?
A whistleblower is a person, most likely the employee of a company that exposes the activity or information happening in public, government, or private organizations. This is when the activity is illicit, illegal, seen as a fraud, waste, or abuse of funds.
A government whistleblower is the same definition as above. It usually happens when an employee in a government organization reports illegal activity to the right bodies like the Inspector General of Legal Violations or the Office of Special Counsel of Legal Violations.
Whistleblowing is not illegal and is generally seen as doing the right thing, but those who do it are usually subject to retaliation and other undeserving consequences. The government official, boss, or company that you reported because of their illegal activity will try to harm you either physically or in the industry you work in.
Laws that Protect Whistleblowers
If you report an illicit activity that you witness while carrying your job, you are still protected. If you become a whistleblower and are suffering from negative and undeserving consequences, the best thing to do is consult a whistleblower attorney.
A government official cannot threaten an employee or take adverse action against them even if they blow the whistle on their bad deeds. This is because all government whistleblowers are protected by the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989. It does not allow for any retaliation against whistleblowers in government-related cases.
If a whistleblower is facing negative employment action, they will be fully protected by the whistleblower law.
Whistleblower protection in Texas is not very different from the way it is everywhere else in the US. It is regulated by the Texas Whistleblower Act and this law protects employees who worked in the state government from attacks and retaliation because of their report. If you become a whistleblower, it means you witness some very consequential and negative activities, and so whoever was doing this won’t make it easy, making whistleblowing very risky.
Different acts of retaliation that whistleblowers suffer include termination, suspension, spreading of bad rumors in the industry, and other negative actions. Because of this, the Texas Whistleblower Act is meant to encourage government employees to speak up when they see something illegal and expect protection from the government.
You can also get payment for damages if you blow the whistle of your employer in the Texas State Government. You will receive compensation like back pay and benefits, although this is only if you have a reliable lawyer that will make your case for you. A lawyer will also help get you whistleblower protection.
Those working in private companies can also be protected as whistleblowers if their company or employer was dealing with the government.
Seek Legal Counsel
Whether you’re a government whistleblower or you work in the private sector, it’s best to contact a whistleblower lawyer in Texas for help. A whistleblower attorney is specialized in this field so you can be sure you’re receiving the best of care, and they can properly negotiate your compensations for damages, whistleblower protection, and more. If things go too far, a whistleblower attorney will also be great for suing your employer.
If you’re planning on blowing the whistle on your employer or you have already done that, turn to our experienced lawyers at Scott Law Firm. Here, we can protect you from harsh employers and any adverse employment actions.