Whistleblower protection


We have laws to protect local government whisteblowers.  Right?  Yes, we do have a law (see 70A.29), but if you get fired from your job for whistleblowing, you might be financially ruined or die before you get the chance to be vindicated in court or elsewhere.

Our State’s law is below.

The Linn County Board of Supervisors has approved two policies related to whistleblowing.  One is Whistleblower Protection and the other is Reporting and Investigation of Fraud or Financial Misconduct.  To my knowledge, neither has been utilized since being approved on March 28, 2007.  Then again, maybe someone blew the whistle and it didn’t make the news?

70A.29  REPRISALS PROHIBITED -- POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS
-- PENALTY -- CIVIL REMEDIES. 
1.  A person shall not discharge an employee from or take or fail
to take action regarding an employee's appointment or proposed
appointment to, promotion or proposed promotion to, or any advantage
in, a position in employment by a political subdivision of this state
as a reprisal for a disclosure of any information by that employee to
a member or employee of the general assembly, or an official of that
political subdivision or a state official or for a disclosure of
information to any other public official or law enforcement agency if
the employee reasonably believes the information evidences a
violation of law or rule, mismanagement, a gross abuse of funds, an
abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public
health or safety.  This section does not apply if the disclosure of
the information is prohibited by statute. 
2.  A person who violates subsection 1 commits a simple
misdemeanor. 
3.  Subsection 1 may be enforced through a civil action. 
a.  A person who violates subsection 1 is liable to an
aggrieved employee for affirmative relief including reinstatement,
with or without back pay, or any other equitable relief the court
deems appropriate, including attorney fees and costs. 
b.  When a person commits, is committing, or proposes to
commit an act in violation of subsection 1, an injunction may be
granted through an action in district court to prohibit the person
from continuing such acts.  The action for injunctive relief may be
brought by an aggrieved employee or the county attorney.
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