Can I be fired for reporting illegal activities at my workplace in Texas?

Texas, an employer cannot legally retaliate against an employee for reporting illegal activities in the workplace. The state of Texas has laws in place to protect employees who report illegal activities, commonly known as “whistleblower” laws.

Under the Texas Whistleblower Act, an employer is prohibited from taking adverse actions, such as termination, demotion, or any other form of retaliation, against an employee who reports a violation of law by the employer or another employee. The Act covers both public and private employers, ensuring that employees are protected regardless of the type of organization they work for.

To be protected under the Texas Whistleblower Act, the employee must have a good faith belief that the reported activity is illegal. This means that the employee genuinely believes that the activity violates a law, rule, or regulation. It is important to note that the employee does not need to prove that the activity is actually illegal, but only that they had a reasonable belief that it was.

Additionally, the employee must report the illegal activity to an appropriate authority. This can include reporting to a supervisor, a government agency, or law enforcement. The Act does not require the employee to report the activity externally, meaning that reporting internally within the company can also be protected.

If an employer violates the Texas Whistleblower Act by retaliating against an employee for reporting illegal activities, the employee may have legal recourse. They can file a complaint with the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) or pursue a civil lawsuit against the employer. If successful, the employee may be entitled to various remedies, including reinstatement, back pay, and other damages.

It is important to consult with an employment attorney to fully understand your rights and options if you believe you have been retaliated against for reporting illegal activities in the workplace.