Whistleblower Act Clarified by Texas Supreme Court

In University of Houston versus Stephen Barth, the Texas Supreme Court clarified that for someone to come under the protection fo the state Whistleblower Act, he must report a violation of the law to an appropriate law enforcement authority.  This case involved a professor’s reports of alleged violations of university administrative policies to university officials.  The Court held that internal administrative policy was not a “law” as defined by the Whistleblower Act because it was not adopted by statute or ordinance.  The Court further held that the university officials were not appropriate law-enforcement authorities because they could not have investigated or prosecuted the crime.

The fact that Stephen Barth was a practicing attorney and served on the faculty senate was considere by the court in finding that he failed to meet the good faith test.