Right to report improper governmental action — Policies and procedures.
(1) Every local government employee has the right to report to the appropriate person or persons information concerning an alleged improper governmental action.
(2) The governing body or chief administrative officer of each local government shall adopt a policy on the appropriate procedures to follow for reporting such information and shall provide information to their employees on the policy. Local governments are encouraged to consult with their employees on the policy.
(3) The policy shall describe the appropriate person or persons within the local government to whom to report information and a list of appropriate person or persons outside the local government to whom to report. The list shall include the county prosecuting attorney.
(4) Each local government shall permanently post a summary of the procedures for reporting information on an alleged improper governmental action and the procedures for protection against retaliatory actions described in RCW 42.41.040 in a place where all employees will have reasonable access to it. A copy of the summary shall be made available to any employee upon request.
(5) A local government may require as part of its policy that, except in the case of an emergency, before an employee provides information of an improper governmental action to a person or an entity who is not a public official or a person listed pursuant to subsection (3) of this section, the employee shall submit a written report to the local government. Where a local government has adopted such a policy under this section, an employee who fails to make a good faith attempt to follow the policy shall not receive the protections of this chapter.
(6) If a local government has failed to adopt a policy as required by subsection (2) of this section, an employee may report alleged improper government action directly to the county prosecuting attorney or, if the prosecuting attorney or an employee of the prosecuting attorney participated in the alleged improper government action, to the state auditor. The cost incurred by the state auditor in such investigations shall be paid by the local government through the municipal revolving account authorized in RCW 43.09.282.
(7) The identity of a reporting employee shall be kept confidential to the extent possible under law, unless the employee authorizes the disclosure of his or her identity in writing.
[1995 c 213 § 1; 1992 c 44 § 3.]