How Are Texas Workers Protected by the Whistleblower Protection Act? By Dan Atkerson on July 07, 2023

termination noticeWhistleblowers are individuals who report fraud, corruption, and unlawful actions. Most often, whistleblowers are employees who expose the illegal activity of their employers. Understandably, workers may hesitate to report an employer because they fear retaliation or other negative consequences.

The Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) is a federal law that protects employees from retaliation or punishment for whistleblowing. Whistleblower retaliation attorney Dan A. Atkerson helps workers in AllenTX, PlanoTX, and FriscoTX, understand what the Whistleblower Protection Act protects in Texas and what they can do if protections are violated.

Protection From Retaliation

The WPA prohibits employers from retaliating against workers for engaging in activities protected under the law. Retaliation is any adverse action taken against an employee due to their participation in legally protected activities. Retaliation may occur in several different forms and is not always easy to recognize. Forms of retaliation prohibited by the WPA include:

  • Wrongful termination
  • Demotion
  • Denial of overtime, promotion, or training opportunities
  • Disciplinary action
  • Wage decrease
  • Reassignment to a less desirable position
  • Reduction in hours
  • Threats, harassment, or intimidation
  • Creation of a hostile work environment
  • Reporting or threatening to report an employee to the police or immigration authorities

What Practices Are Protected Under the WPA?

Workers who suspect they have faced retaliation may wonder if their actions are protected under the WPA. The WPA protects workers who report a wide range of illegal activities and corruption. Practices protected by the WPA include:

  • Reporting issues relating to worker safety
  • Reporting issues related to consumer product and food safety
  • Reporting environmental protection violations
  • Reporting financial fraud
  • Reporting insurance fraud
  • Reporting wage violations
  • Requesting workplace inspections
  • Refusing to participate in illegal activities or unsafe acts
  • Filing a discrimination or harassment complaint

What Is Not Protected by the WPA?

The WPA applies only to retaliation directly linked to protected legal activities. It does not protect employees from adverse actions unrelated to whistleblowing. To prevent consequences of whistleblower retaliation, the WPA states employers must demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that they would have taken the same personnel action in the absence of the employee’s disclosure. In other words, even if the employee had not reported illegal activities, they still would have been terminated or faced other adverse actions due to their job performance.

What Should I Do if My Rights Are Violated?

Despite protections under the WPA, employers frequently terminate, harass, or otherwise retaliate against whistleblowers. Unfortunately, workers do not always report retaliatory acts because they are unaware of their rights. Any worker who suspects they have been punished or retaliated against for reporting illegal activities should discuss their situation with a knowledgeable whistleblower retaliation attorney, such as Dan A. Atkerson. Mr. Atkerson informs clients of their rights and works on their behalf to file a whistleblower retaliation claim and seek appropriate compensation for related damages.

Contact Us

Workers who report an employer's illegal activities do a great service to the public and should not be punished for their actions. If you have faced retaliation after reporting fraud or corruption, attorney Dan A. Atkerson can help you consider your legal options. To schedule a consultation at our law firm, send us a message. 

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Dan Atkerson

Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson

Dan A. Atkerson has been protecting the rights of North Texas employees for over nearly four decades. He is affiliated with several prestigious legal organizations, including: 

  • The State Bar of Texas
  • The Dallas Bar Association
  • The United States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit
  • Texas Supreme Court and all Texas trial and appellate courts
  • Texas federal courts for the Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas

Through aggressive, knowledgeable representation, he has helped clients all over the state reach significant verdicts and settlements. To schedule a consultation at our law firm, request an appointment online or call us at (214) 383-3606.

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