Whistle Blow

In: Business and Management

Submitted By tasleema26
Words 4070
Pages 17
An Analysis of Current Whistleblower
Laws: Defending a More Flexible
Approach to Reporting Requirements
Gerard Sinzdak'
Sherron Watkins is regarded as a hero for her decision to blow the whistle on the illegal activities of her employer Enron.' Had Enron survived the resulting scandal, however, the company could have fired or otherwise retaliated against Watkins with legal impunity.'^ Under Texas's whistleblower law, employees of private employers receive legal protection against retaliation only if they report wrongdoing to an external law enforcement agency.
Because Watkins reported her concerns only to Enron CEO Kenneth Lay, her actions did not meet Texas's strict report recipient requirement.'
The Texas whistleblower law is not unique. Most state whistleblower statutes restrict the parties to whom a whistleblower may report in order to receive protection from retaliation.^ The majority of states, for example, protect only those employees' who file reports with external govemment bodies. In
Copyright © 2008 Califomia Law Review, Inc. Califomia Law Review, Inc. (CLR) is a
Califomia nonprofit corporation. CLR and the authors are solely responsible for the content of their publications. t J.D., University of Califomia, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), 2008. I would like to thank Professor Gillian Lester for her guidance and assistance with this Comment.
1. Richard Lacayo & Amanda Ripley, Persons of the Year, TIME, Dec. 30, 2002, at 30.
2. Watkins expected the company to "just stick [her] in a comer and treat [her] like a pariah and sort of force [her] out." Miriam A. Cherry, Whistling in the Dark? Corporate Fraud,
Whistleblowers and the Implications of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act for Employment Law, 79 WASH.
L. REV. 1029, 1051-52 (2004).
3. TEX. GOV'T CODE ANN. § 554.002(b) (2004).
4. Cherry,5Mpranote2, at 1036-37.

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