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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.


Government officials and employees may make mistakes or engage in activities that are inconsistent with the requirements of their positions or that violate the public trust. It is to the jurisdiction's benefit, and to the public trust, to identify improper actions and take curative actions. Often, this may not be possible unless someone (such as an employee) reports the improper actions (referred to as "whistleblowing"). However, an employee may fear making a report adverse to an official or a superior because of a presumed risk that, in return, an adverse action will be taken against them. Whistleblowing laws and policies guard against this presumed risk by prohibiting adverse retaliatory actions against the whistleblower.

Washington Statutes

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 provides comprehensivie information on how to file complaints, what to expect from an investigation, tips for creating an anti-retaliation program, and additional fact sheets on the federal whistleblower act and regulations.

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: February 23, 2024