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In December 2013, the Seattle City Council, in collaboration with the Ethics and Elections Commission, significantly amended the Citys Whistleblower Protection Code.

The City encourages employees to report improper governmental actions, defined as:

  • Acts creating a substantial or specific danger to the publics health and safety;
  • The gross waste of public funds;
  • The withholding or altering of scientific or technical data relied upon by decision makers; or,
  • Violations of federal, state and local laws.

Major changes to the Code include:

  • Employees who report wrongdoing to their supervisor or other person in their chain of command will now be protected from retaliation.
  • The SEEC will now investigate allegations of retaliation.
  • If reasonable cause is found that retaliatory actions have occurred, options to address the harm of retaliation are expanded.
  • Both the institutional effects of retaliation, such as demotion and transfers, and retaliatory acts by individuals can be addressed and sanctioned.

See the Whistleblower Procedures page for details about where to report improper governmental actions as well as how to proceed if you experience retaliation for making a whistleblower complaint. Contact us if you have any questions.

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