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Is it really whistle-blowing? Not without good faith

by on
in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Some employees think that throwing around a few unfounded allegations makes them whistle-blowers. They assume that by reporting what they think is illegal activity, they gain job protection.

That’s not always true. If the alleged misconduct isn’t reported in good faith, there’s no protection.

Recent case: Phyllis Nairn worked as a teacher for a Texas school district. She complained to management that her boss was sexually harassing another teacher. The district investigated and discovered that the conduct Nairn objected to consisted of a hug that the recipient didn’t find offensive.

Nairn’s contract wasn’t renewed and she sued, alleging retaliation for whistle-blowing.

The court tossed out her claim, reasoning that Nairn hadn’t acted in good faith when she complained. (Nairn v. Killeen Independent School District, No. 08-10-00303, Court of Appeal of Texas, 8th District, 2012)

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