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Arkansas Whistleblower Laws

Virtually all states have what are known as "whistleblower" laws, which protect employees from being retaliated against for the good faith reporting of their employers' illegal activity. The majority of these laws are limited to public sector whistleblowers, but some states also have laws protecting private employees from whistleblower-related retaliation. These laws make it a crime for employers to retaliate against employees who blow the whistle in good faith, even if the alleged activity turns out not to have occurred.

The Basics of Arkansas Whistleblower Protections

As in many other states, Arkansas has two separate statutes protecting whistleblowers: one specifically related to public employees and a more limited law protecting both private- and public-sector employees from retaliation. State law protects public-sector whistleblowers who report waste or violation of law to the proper authorities, and also protects private-sector whistleblowers who participate in investigations or testify against their employer.

See the following charts to learn more about Arkansas's whistleblower protections. See FindLaw's Whistleblowers section for more articles and resources.

Code Sections §16-123- 108, §21-1-601
Prohibited Employer Activity

Employer may not discriminate against public employee who communicates in good faith to the proper authorities:

  1. The waste of public funds, property, or manpower (including federal), or
  2. A violation or suspected violation of a law, rule, or regulation adopted under the law of this state or a political subdivision of the state
Protection for Public or Private Employees? Public (although it is illegal to retaliate against both public and private employees who in good faith participate in investigations or testify against their employer)
Opportunity for Employer to Correct? Yes ("The communication shall be made at a time and in a manner which gives the public employer reasonable notice of need to correct the waste or violation")

Arkansas Whistleblower Act (public): any combination of injunctive relief; reinstatement of employee's position and status; reinstatement of full benefits and retirement credit; compensation for lost wages, benefits, etc.; and payment of reasonable court costs and attorney's fees.

Retaliation (public and private): can file civil action within 1 year of violation to enjoin further violations, recover compensatory and punitive damages and court and attorney's fees (in the discretion of the court).

Note: State laws are never set in stone and may change at any time, usually through the enactment of new statutes but also through appellate court decisions and other means. Be sure to contact an Arkansas whistleblower attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Arkansas Whistleblower Laws: Related Resources

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