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This page provides links to information on federal, state, and local whistleblowing legislation that affect Washington local governments, including examples of city and county policies.


Unfortunately, government officials and employees will sometimes make mistakes or engage in activities that are inconsistent with the requirements of their positions or with the public trust. Obviously, it is to the jurisdiction's benefit, and to the public trust, that improper actions be recognized and curative actions taken. Often, this may not be possible unless someone reports the improper actions. However, by making a report adverse to an official or a superior, there is a risk that, in return, an adverse action will be taken against the person who made the report. Whistleblowing policies guard against improper actions being taken against the "whistleblower.

Washington Statutes

  • Ch. 42.41 RCW – Local Government Whistleblower Protection State statute
  • Ch.42.40 RCW – State Employee Whistleblower Protection statute

Federal Statutes

  • U.S. Department of Labor: Federal Whistleblower Statutes – The federal whistleblower act is administered by the federal Office of Occupational Safety and Health Administration. This page links to the federal act and regulations, as well as to reports, procedures and complaint forms.

Examples of Ordinance Provisions and Policies

The following ordinances or policies set out procedures to follow when an officer or employee alleges improper action by another employee or officer.



Special Purpose Districts

Recommended Resources

Last Modified: January 20, 2023