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The Whistleblower Act, enacted by the Washington State Legislature in 1982 and significantly amended by Chapter 361 Laws of 1999, provides an avenue for state employees to report suspected improper governmental activity. 

Any Washington state employee may report a suspected improper governmental action through the Whistleblower Program. This includes temporary employees, classified and exempt civil service employees and elected officials. The Act does not cover employees of state contractors and does not authorize the State Auditor’s Office to investigate personnel actions for which other remedies exist, such as employee grievances. 

Under the 1999 legislation, the asserted improper activity(ies) must have occurred within one year of the filing of the assertion(s). 

Improper governmental activity is defined as any action by an employee undertaken in the performance of the employee’s official duties which: 

  • Results in mismanagement or gross waste of public funds or resources. 
  • Is in violation of federal or state law or rule, if the violation is not merely technical or of a minimum nature. 
  • Is of substantial and specific danger to the public health or safety. 

Complete information and procedures for the disclosure and investigation of improper governmental action can be found on the State Auditor’s website Washington State Whistleblower Program.