Reporting Improper Governmental Action (Whistleblower Act)
- "Improper governmental action" means any action by a
Clover Park School District officer or employee that is undertaken in the
performance of the officer or employee's official duties, whether or not the
action is within the scope of the employee's job; and that is:
- In violation of any federal, state or local law or rule;
- An abuse of authority;
- Of substantial and specific danger to the public health or safety; or
- A gross waste of public funds.
Improper governmental action does not include personnel actions.
- "Retaliatory action" means any adverse action against an employee taken as a result of the employee reporting an improper governmental action.
Reporting: Employees who become aware of actions that they believe constitute improper governmental action should raise the issue first with their supervisor. If requested by the supervisor, the employee shall submit a written report to the supervisor or designee, stating in detail the basis for the employee's belief that an improper governmental action has occurred.
Where the employee reasonably believes the improper governmental action involves his or her supervisor, the employee may raise the issue directly with the superintendent or the person whom the superintendent has designated to receive reports of improper governmental action.
In case of emergency, where the employee believes that damage to persons or property may result if action is not taken immediately, or where the employee has a legal obligation to report (for instance, where child abuse is suspected), the employee shall report the improper governmental action directly to the appropriate government agency with responsibility for investigating the improper action.
District employees who fail to make a good faith attempt to follow this policy and procedure in reporting improper governmental conduct shall not be eligible for the protections outlined.
Response: The employee's supervisor, the superintendent or the superintendent's designee shall take prompt action to see that the report of improper governmental action is properly investigated.
Persons involved in the investigation shall keep the identity of reporting employees confidential to the extent possible under law, unless the employees authorize the disclosure of their identities in writing.
After an investigation has been completed, the reporting employee shall receive a summary of the investigation results, except to the extent that resulting personnel actions must be kept confidential. If a reporting employee reasonably believes that an adequate investigation was not done by the district, that insufficient action has been taken, or that the improper governmental action is likely to recur, the employee may report information about the improper governmental action directly to the appropriate government agency.
Retaliation: Employees who believe that they have been retaliated against for reporting an improper governmental action should advise their supervisor, the superintendent or the superintendent's designee. Appropriate action to investigate and address complaints of retaliation shall be taken.
If the complaint cannot be informally resolved, the employee shall provide written notice to the superintendent that specifies the alleged retaliatory action and the relief requested by the employee. The written complaint must be filed within 30 calendar days of the alleged retaliation. The district will respond to the complaint within 30 calendar days of receiving the written notice.
If the employee alleging retaliation receives no response from the district or objects to the district's response, the employee may request a hearing before a state administrative law judge. The request for a hearing must be delivered in writing to the superintendent either 15 calendar days following the district's response, or 45 calendar days after the complaint was filed, if there was no response.
The district will apply for hearing within five (5) working days to the state
Office of Administrative Hearings.
P.O. Box 42488
919 Lakeridge Way SW
Olympia, WA 98504-2488
The district will consider any recommendation provided by the administrative law judge that an employee found to have retaliated against an employee who reported improper governmental action be suspended with or without pay or dismissed.
Administration: A summary of this policy and procedure will be permanently posted where all employees will have reasonable access to it, the policy and procedure will be made available to any employee who requests them, and the policy and procedure will be given to all new employees.
The following is a list of agencies responsible for enforcing federal, state and local laws and investigating issues involving potential improper governmental action. Employees having questions about these agencies or the procedures for reporting improper governmental action are encouraged to contact their supervisor, the superintendent or designee.
Local City Police Department or
County Sheriff's Office
Local County Prosecutor's Office
Local City or County Health Department
Local City or County
Environmental Protection Office
WA Attorney General’s Office
Consumer Protection Division
800 Fifth Avenue Suite 2000
Seattle, WA 98104
Washington Auditor's Office
PO Box 40021
Olympia WA 98504-0021
Washington Department of Ecology
300 Desmond Drive or P.O. Box 47600
Lacey, WA 98504-7600
Human Rights Commission
711 South Capitol Way
Olympia WA 98504-2490
Washington Department of Labor
300 West Harrison, Room 201
Washington Department of Natural
1111 Washington St. SE
P.O. Box 47000
Olympia, WA 98504-7000
Puget Sound Water Quality
PO Box 44000
Olympia WA 98504-4400
Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction
Old Capitol Building
PO Box 47200
Olympia WA 98504-7200
U.S. Department of Education
Office of the Inspector General
915 - 2nd Avenue
Seattle WA 98178
Audits: (206) 553-1482
Environmental Protection Agency
300 Desmond Dr. Ste. 102
Lacey, WA 98503
Equal Employment Opportunity
909 First Ave. #400
Seattle WA 98178
Federal Emergency Mgmt. Agency
130 -228th Street SW
U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health
1111 - 3rd Avenue, Suite 715
Seattle WA 98101-3216
National Transportation Safety Board
429 L’Enfant Plaza SW
Washington DC, DC 20024
U.S. Department of Transportation
Office of Inspector General
Complaint Intake Unit, Mail Stop 7886
1401 Constitution Avenue, N.W
Washington DC, DC 20230
Old Capitol Building
P.O. Box 47200
Olympia, WA 98504-7200
Revised: 06.12.95; 05.01.03; 02.05.13