Retaliation for Opposing Illegal Activities

You have worked for your employer for some time now, but recently you have noticed illegal acts being committed by the employer. You are refuse to take part because the acts are illegal, but you are also worried about being fired if you blow the whistle. Workplace whistleblowing is a difficult situation and the first step is knowing your legal rights.

Our Knoxville retaliation lawyers have significant experience representing workers in workplace retaliation cases.

The Tennessee Public Protection Act (TPPA)

The TPPA prohibits an employer from terminating an employee who refuses to (1) remain silent about illegal activities (i.e., whistleblowing) or (2) participate in such illegal activities. “Illegal activities” means activities that violate federal or state criminal or civil laws or any regulation meant to protect public health, safety or welfare. Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-1-304(a)(3).

The TPPA covers all employers regardless of the employer’s size (unlike some other Tennessee and federal employment laws that only apply to employers with a certain minimum number of employees).

Examples of potential TPPA violations include an employee being terminated after:

  • Refusing to remain silent about violations of consumer protection laws;
  • Refusing to violate a person’s Constitutional rights; and
  • Reporting abuse of nursing home patients to a state agency.