Code Section Group

Government Code - GOV


  ( Title 2 enacted by Stats. 1943, Ch. 134. )


  ( Division 2 enacted by Stats. 1943, Ch. 134. )

PART 1. LEGISLATURE [8902 - 9937]

  ( Part 1 enacted by Stats. 1943, Ch. 134. )

CHAPTER 1.5. General [9000 - 9149.41]

  ( Heading of Chapter 1.5 renumbered from Chapter 1 by Stats. 1966, 1st Ex. Sess., Ch. 163. )

ARTICLE 10. Whistleblower Protection Act [9149.20 - 9149.23]
  ( Article 10 added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 156, Sec. 1. )


This article shall be known and may be cited as the Whistleblower Protection Act.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 156, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2000.)


It is the intent of the Legislature that state employees and other persons should disclose, to the extent not expressly prohibited by law, improper governmental activities.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 156, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2000.)


For the purposes of this article, the following words have the following meanings:

(a) “Committee” means any investigating committee of the Legislature.

(b) “Employee” means any individual appointed by the Governor or employed or holding office in a state agency, as defined by Section 11000, including the California State University and the University of California, or any public entity as defined by Section 7260, or any agency of local government, as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 8 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.

(c) “Improper governmental activity” means any activity by a governmental agency or by an employee that is undertaken in the performance of the employee’s official duties, whether or not that action is within the scope of his or her employment, and that (1) is in violation of any state or federal law or regulation, including, but not limited to, corruption, malfeasance, bribery, theft of government property, fraudulent claims, fraud, coercion, conversion, malicious prosecution, misuse of government property, or willful omission to perform duty, or (2) is economically wasteful, or involves gross misconduct, incompetency, or inefficiency.

(d) “Person” means any individual, corporation, trust, association, any state or local government, or any agency or instrumentality of any of the foregoing.

(e) “Use of official authority or influence” includes promising to confer, or conferring, any benefit; effecting, or threatening to effect, any reprisal; or taking, or directing others to take, or recommending, processing, or approving, any personnel action, including, but not limited to, appointment, promotion, transfer, assignment, performance evaluation, suspension, or other disciplinary action.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 156, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2000.)


(a) An employee may not directly or indirectly use or attempt to use the official authority or influence of the employee for the purpose of intimidating, threatening, coercing, commanding, or attempting to intimidate, threaten, coerce, or command any person for the purpose of interfering with the right of that person to disclose to a legislative committee improper governmental activities.

(b) Any employee who violates subdivision (a) may be liable in an action for civil damages brought against the employee by the offended party.

(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize an individual to disclose information otherwise prohibited by or under law.

(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to abrogate or limit any other theory of liability or any other remedy that is otherwise available at law.

(Added by Stats. 1999, Ch. 156, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2000.)

GOVGovernment Code - GOV10.