The 88th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature convenes on January 10, 2023 and lasts until May 29, 2023. This coming Monday, November 14, is the first day that legislators can file bills. I hope that this session, Texas finally fixes the Texas Whistleblower Act to
Ye Olde Qui Tam
Hark, frēndes! The feld flours blosme and the sǒnne shines. “Tis spring. And that means its Ren Fest season!
Right now, through April 24, just outside of Austin there is the Sherwood Forest Faire. After that, head north by horse for three days and you will…
Recent Texas Whistleblower Act Decision from the Dallas Court of Appeals
On August 27, 2020, the Fifth Court of Appeals of Texas at Dallas reversed the dismissal of Fernando Herrera’s Texas Whistleblower case against Dallas Independent School District. In doing so, it ordered the case back to the trial court for further proceedings.
The lawsuit alleges DISD terminated Mr. Herrera because he complained to Child Protective Services (“CPS”) about suspected child abuse by other DISD teachers. The lawsuit was initially filed in June 2018 in Dallas District Court.
The lawsuit states Mr. Herrera made two reports to CPS. The first report was made on or about March 31, 2017 after Mr. Herrera witnessed a DISD teacher inappropriately touching a student in front of several other teachers. The second report was made on May 16, 2017 after a concerned parent informed Mr. Herrera she suspected a teacher inappropriately touched a student. On May 17, 2017, DISD put Mr. Herrera on administrative leave.…
Continue Reading Recent Texas Whistleblower Act Decision from the Dallas Court of Appeals
Taking the First Amendment to Work: Can I really be fired for saying that? Private Sector Employees
We all know that the First Amendment gives us the right to free speech. But, when it comes to the First Amendment, what you don’t know can hurt you.
TRUE: The First Amendment allows people to express their views.
FALSE: The First Amendment protects employees from termination.
First Amendment protection and job protection are not intertwined.
Many private sector employees fail to realize that their right to free speech does not prevent employers from limiting that speech. Freedom of speech in the workplace protects public sector (i.e., government) employees.…
Continue Reading Taking the First Amendment to Work: Can I really be fired for saying that? Private Sector Employees
When should I call an employment lawyer?
Every day our office receives calls and online inquiries from workers seeking legal advice. They want to know whether their boss’s actions are illegal and whether they have claims to pursue. And, if the answer to both of those questions is yes, they have to think about whether they are ready to take action to protect their rights. But still, before even contacting an attorney they may be afraid. They don’t know when they need an attorney, how long to wait before contacting an attorney, or even if contacting an attorney is the right choice for them. That’s why consultations are a very important part of the practice of law.
How do I know I need an employment attorney?
If you are even asking this question the safest answer is seek a consultation.…
Whistle(blow) while you work
You saw your boss, coworker, or subordinate do something that you believe is illegal. Maybe they stole money from the company. Maybe they falsified or altered a report. Maybe they lied to shareholders. Maybe they asked you to do something that you believed was illegal. You want to report it, but you also want to know whether you can be fired for your whistleblower activity.
Continue Reading Whistle(blow) while you work
Allegations that an employer’s billing practices violated a federal criminal statute prohibiting healthcare fraud are sufficient to state a claim under Sabine Pilot.
“In this case, the plaintiff’s averments regarding the defendant’s billing practices are criminal in nature. For example, the plaintiff’s original complaint alleges that ‘BCH began requesting that the Plaintiff see multiple patients at the same time, bill units in empty time slots, and bill incorrectly. However, Plaintiff refused….’ Such practice could subject individuals to criminal…