Retaliation claims often are the strongest type of discrimination claim. There have been important decisions by courts that have strengthened retaliation claims. In addition, there are a number of laws that protect against retaliation.
Under the employment discrimination statutes, people who complain about a violation of the statute can, in certain circumstances, be protected from retaliatory actions. This protection is provided by Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Another statute that protects against retaliation is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). A person who has been retaliated against for complaining about not being paid overtime or the minimum wage can bring a retaliation claim under the FLSA.
Most whistleblower statutes have some form of protection for the person filing the complaint. The following are some of these statutes:
- The Sarbanes-Oxley Act provides protection, under certain circumstances, for reporting of accounting discrepancies and violations of securities law in companies that are traded publicly.
- The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act provides protection, under certain circumstances, for reporting of financial misconduct.
- The False Claims Act provides protection, under certain circumstances, for federal contractors who report fraud.
Some protection, under certain circumstances, is provided for people who complain about the following:
- OSHA violations
- Asbestos hazards
- Shipping containers that are unsafe
- Violations of federal water and air pollution laws
- The mishandling of toxic substances
- Department of Energy violations
- Atomic Energy Act violations
- Airline regulations violations
- Pipeline operations that are unsafe
The Texas Whistleblower Act protects, under certain circumstances, public employees who report violations of the law to an appropriate law enforcement authority.
A person who has been retaliated against for filing a workers’ compensation claim can, under certain circumstances, pursue a retaliation claim in Texas.
Also, the Texas Supreme Court has ruled that an employer cannot fire an employee based upon that employee’s refusal to commit an illegal act.
When pursuing any type of retaliation claim in Texas, it is helpful to have a lawyer who is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.