Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.
(1)(a) "Improper governmental action" means any action by a local government officer or employee:
(i) That is undertaken in the performance of the officer's or employee's official duties, whether or not the action is within the scope of the employee's employment; and
(ii) That is in violation of any federal, state, or local law or rule, is an abuse of authority, is of substantial and specific danger to the public health or safety, or is a gross waste of public funds.
(b) "Improper governmental action" does not include personnel actions including but not limited to employee grievances, complaints, appointments, promotions, transfers, assignments, reassignments, reinstatements, restorations, reemployments, performance evaluations, reductions in pay, dismissals, suspensions, demotions, violations of the local government collective bargaining and civil service laws, alleged labor agreement violations, reprimands, or any action that may be taken under chapter 41.08
, 41.12, 41.14, 41.56, 41.59, or 53.18
RCW or RCW 54.04.170
(2) "Local government" means any governmental entity other than the state, federal agencies, or an operating system established under chapter 43.52
RCW. It includes, but is not limited to cities, counties, school districts, and special purpose districts.
(3) "Retaliatory action" means: (a) Any adverse change in a local government employee's employment status, or the terms and conditions of employment including denial of adequate staff to perform duties, frequent staff changes, frequent and undesirable office changes, refusal to assign meaningful work, unwarranted and unsubstantiated letters of reprimand or unsatisfactory performance evaluations, demotion, transfer, reassignment, reduction in pay, denial of promotion, suspension, dismissal, or any other disciplinary action; or (b) hostile actions by another employee towards a local government employee that were encouraged by a supervisor or senior manager or official.
(4) "Emergency" means a circumstance that if not immediately changed may cause damage to persons or property.