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.
- Ch. 42.41 RCW – Local Government Whistleblower Protection State statute
- Ch.42.40 RCW – State Employee Whistleblower Protection statute
- 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.
The following ordinances or policies set out procedures to follow when an officer or employee alleges improper action by another employee or officer.
- Bellevue Municipal Code Ch. 3.80
- Bothell Whistleblower Policy (2021)
- Chewelah Reporting Improper Governmental Action and Protecting Employees Against Retaliation (2022)
- Ellensburg Reporting Improper Governmental Action (2015)
- Tumwater Employee Code of Ethics and Policy (Whistle Blower) (2011)
- Spokane Municipal Code Sec. 01.04A.180
- Vancouver Personnel Policies Whistleblower Protection (2008) – Provides employee guidelines in a useful Q&A format
Special Purpose Districts
- Lake Whatcom Water and Sewer District Reporting Improper Governmental Action (2019)
- Port of Port Angeles Improper Governmental Action (2016)
- Skyway Water and Sewer District Retaliation and Whistleblower Protection (2016)
- Washington State Auditor's Office: State Employee Whistleblower Program – This page includes links to: Frequently Asked Questions, and the state Whistleblower Reporting Form.
- National Whistleblower Center – A nonprofit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting employees' lawful disclosure of waste, fraud, and abuse.