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Before a a government employee can sue under the Texas Whistleblower Act they must have suffered an adverse employment action.

Written by Mr. Roger Davie on Wednesday, 30 Nov 2016.

I have written at length about the Texas Whistleblower Act and that you must be a government employee who reported illegal activity to an appropriate law enforcement agency: (http://rogerdavie.com/news/whistleblowing-is-not-p....

However, you must have also suffered an adverse employment action.  An obvious adverse employment action is termination.  However short of being fired what else could be an adverse employment action. An adverse personnel action under the Act is one that might deter a reasonable employee from engaging in protected conduct. Ward v. Lamar University, 484 S.W.3d 440 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2015). In Ward, the court held that an employer’s unfulfilled threats to terminate the plaintiff could not by itself constitute such personnel actions, but other actions might. The Court stated that the possible adverse personnel actions included measures designed to reduce the prestige of the employee’s position, including the elimination of her authority to make the kinds of reports that led to her whistleblower claim. Accordingly, the Court held that the employee could continue with her case because she could show some adverse employment action besides just the unfulfilled threat of termination. 

As an El Paso employment lawyer I often find that government employees wait until they have been fired are about to be fired before they come to see a board certified employment lawyer.  It is always better to see an experienced board certified employment lawyer prior to being fired or disciplined so that you can know your rights and take appropriate action to protect yourself and your job.

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