Whistleblower Fails to Report Violation of Law

The Texas Whistleblower Act prohibits a governmental entity from taking an adverse personnel action against an employee who in good faith reports a violation of law to an appropriate law enforcement authority. Tex. Gov’t Code § 554.002(a). Those elements are jurisdictional, and a plaintiff who fails to adequately plead facts supporting the claim can have his claim dismissed. The Court of Appeals did just that in an appeal from a $400,000 judgment against the Dallas Independent School District. The plaintiff alleged that he had been terminated for reporting that his supervisor had directed him to perform three gas tests in a single day, which he claimed was unsafe. But the plaintiff’s petition did not allege that any actual violation of law had taken place, just that he had been pressured to do something that might be unsafe. As a result, the employee failed to state a claim in his petition, and the trial court therefore had no jurisdiction over his claim.

Dallas Indep. Sch. Dist. v. Watson, No. 05-12-00254-CV

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