Texas Health and Safety Code - HEALTH & SAFETY § 161.134. Retaliation Against Employees Prohibited

(a) A hospital, mental health facility, or treatment facility may not suspend or terminate the employment of or discipline or otherwise discriminate against an employee for reporting to the employee's supervisor, an administrator of the facility, a state regulatory agency, or a law enforcement agency a violation of law, including a violation of this chapter, a rule adopted under this chapter, or a rule of another agency.

(b) A hospital, mental health facility, or treatment facility that violates Subsection (a) is liable to the person discriminated against.  A person who has been discriminated against in violation of Subsection (a) may sue for injunctive relief, damages, or both.

(c) A plaintiff who prevails in a suit under this section may recover actual damages, including damages for mental anguish even if an injury other than mental anguish is not shown.

(d) In addition to an award under Subsection (c), a plaintiff who prevails in a suit under this section may recover exemplary damages and reasonable attorney fees.

(e) In addition to amounts recovered under Subsections (c) and (d), a plaintiff is entitled to, if applicable:

(1) reinstatement in the plaintiff's former position;

(2) compensation for lost wages;  and

(3) reinstatement of lost fringe benefits or seniority rights.

(f) A plaintiff suing under this section has the burden of proof, except that it is a rebuttable presumption that the plaintiff's employment was suspended or terminated, or that the employee was disciplined or discriminated against, for making a report related to a violation if the suspension, termination, discipline, or discrimination occurs before the 60th day after the date on which the plaintiff made a report in good faith.

(g) A suit under this section may be brought in the district court of the county in which:

(1) the plaintiff was employed by the defendant;  or

(2) the defendant conducts business.

(h) A person who alleges a violation of Subsection (a) must sue under this section before the 180th day after the date the alleged violation occurred or was discovered by the employee through the use of reasonable diligence.

(i) This section does not abrogate any other right to sue or interfere with any other cause of action.

(j) Each hospital, mental health facility, and treatment facility shall prominently and conspicuously post for display in a public area of the facility that is readily available to patients, residents, employees, and visitors a statement that employees and staff are protected from discrimination or retaliation for reporting a violation of law.  The statement must be in English and in a second language.


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