Contents
Cal Poly Pomona

California Whistleblower Protection Act

GOVERNMENT CODE
TITLE 2. Government of the State of California
DIVISION 1. General
CHAPTER 6.5. State Auditor
ARTICLE 3. California Whistleblower Protection Act

Cal Gov Code § 8547.1 (2005)

§ 8547.1. Legislative findings and declarations

The Legislature finds and declares that state employees should be free to report waste, fraud, abuse of authority, violation of law, or threat to public health without fear of retribution. The Legislature further finds and declares that public servants best serve the citizenry when they can be candid and honest without reservation in conducting the people's business.

Cal Gov Code § 8547.1 (2005)

§ 8547.1. Legislative findings and declarations

The Legislature finds and declares that state employees should be free to report waste, fraud, abuse of authority, violation of law, or threat to public health without fear of retribution. The Legislature further finds and declares that public servants best serve the citizenry when they can be candid and honest without reservation in conducting the people's business.

Cal Gov Code § 8547.2 (2005)

§ 8547.2. Definitions

For the purposes of this article:

(a) "Employee" means any individual appointed by the Governor or employed or holding office in a state agency as defined by Section 11000, including, for purposes of Sections 8547.3 to 8547.7, inclusive, any employee of the California State University.

(b) "Improper governmental activity" means any activity by a state agency or by an employee that is undertaken in the performance of the employee's official duties, whether or not that action is within the scope of his or her employment, and that (1) is in violation of any state or federal law or regulation, including, but not limited to, corruption, malfeasance, bribery, theft of government property, fraudulent claims, fraud, coercion, conversion, malicious prosecution, misuse of government property, or willful omission to perform duty, or (2) is economically wasteful, or involves gross misconduct, incompetency, or inefficiency. For purposes of Sections 8547.4, 8547.5, 8547.10, and 8547.11, "improper governmental activity" includes any activity by the University of California or by an employee, including an officer or faculty member, who otherwise meets the criteria of this subdivision.

(c) "Person" means any individual, corporation, trust, association, any state or local government, or any agency or instrumentality of any of the foregoing.

(d) "Protected disclosure" means any good faith communication that discloses or demonstrates an intention to disclose information that may evidence (1) an improper governmental activity or (2) any condition that may significantly threaten the health or safety of employees or the public if the disclosure or intention to disclose was made for the purpose of remedying that condition.

(e) "Illegal order" means any directive to violate or assist in violating a federal, state, or local law, rule, or regulation or any order to work or cause others to work in conditions outside of their line of duty that would unreasonably threaten the health or safety of employees or the public.

(f) "State agency" is defined by Section 11000. "State agency" includes the University of California for purposes of Sections 8547.5 to 8547.7, inclusive, and the California State University for purposes of Sections 8547.3 to 8547.7, inclusive .

Cal Gov Code § 8547.3 (2005)

§ 8547.3. Use of official authority or influence to interfere with disclosures

(a) An employee may not directly or indirectly use or attempt to use the official authority or influence of the employee for the purpose of intimidating, threatening, coercing, commanding, or attempting to intimidate, threaten, coerce, or command any person for the purpose of interfering with the rights conferred pursuant to this article.

(b) For the purpose of subdivision (a), "use of official authority or influence" includes promising to confer, or conferring, any benefit; effecting, or threatening to effect, any reprisal; or taking, or directing others to take, or recommending, processing, or approving, any personnel action, including, but not limited to, appointment, promotion, transfer, assignment, performance evaluation, suspension, or other disciplinary action.

(c) Any employee who violates subdivision (a) may be liable in an action for civil damages brought against the employee by the offended party.

(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize an individual to disclose information otherwise prohibited by or under law.


Cal Gov Code § 8547.4 (2005)

§ 8547.4. Administration of article; Investigation and report

The State Auditor shall administer the provisions of this article and shall investigate and report on improper governmental activities. If, after investigating, the State Auditor finds that an employee may have engaged or participated in improper governmental activities, the State Auditor shall send a copy of the investigative report to the employee's appointing power. Within 60 days after receiving a copy of the State Auditor's investigative report, the appointing power shall either serve a notice of adverse action upon the employee who is the subject of the investigative report or set forth in writing its reasons for not taking adverse action. The appointing power shall file a copy of the notice of adverse action with the State Personnel Board in accordance with Section 19574, and shall submit a copy to the State Auditor. If the appointing power does not take adverse action, it shall submit its written reasons for not doing so to the State Auditor and the State Personnel Board, and adverse action may be taken as provided in Section 19583.5. Any employee who is served with a notice of adverse action may appeal to the State Personnel Board in accordance with Section 19575.

Cal Gov Code § 8547.5 (2005)

§ 8547.5. Investigative audit on report of improper activity; Disclosure of identity of informant

Upon receiving specific information that any employee or state agency has engaged in an improper governmental activity, the State Auditor may conduct an investigative audit of the matter. The identity of the person providing the information that initiated the investigative audit shall not be disclosed without the written permission of the person providing the information unless the disclosure is to a law enforcement agency that is conducting a criminal investigation.