Court: Arkansas immune from whistle-blower lawsuits
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas’ highest court has ruled that the state cannot be sued under a law intended to protect whistle-blowers, ruling the state’s constitution makes agencies immune from such lawsuits.
The state Supreme Court on Thursday ruled against a former Department of Community Correction employee who sued the agency and claimed she was fired for protesting discriminatory actions and participating in an investigation designed to discover further discrimination. In a 5-2 ruling, the court says that the state Legislature cannot waive Arkansas’ immunity from lawsuits.
The decision follows a similar ruling from the court in January, when justices said a 2006 measure allowing lawsuits against the state for violations of its minimum wage law conflicted with the Arkansas constitution. That ruling has prompted judges to dismiss several other lawsuits against the state.