Senate Bill Expands Whistleblower Protections For State Employees

Senate Bill Expands Whistleblower Protections For State Employees

12:02pm Mar 07, 2019
Republican Sen. Harry Brown is sponsoring a bill that would add protections for state employees who talk to legislative investigators. Photo courtesy NCGA

The North Carolina Senate is taking a look at tweaking whistleblower protections for state workers. This comes after Governor Roy Cooper’s administration discouraged state employees from talking to investigators hired by lawmakers.

Senate Bill 127 cleared the Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. It would add whistleblower protections for employees who provide information to agents conducting inquiries on behalf of legislative panels.

The News and Observer reports the bill was inspired by a legislative committee’s investigation into the Cooper administration’s approval of permits for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The panel hired private investigators to interview Department of Environmental Quality employees about the permit process.

Republican Senator Harry Brown is co-chair of that committee and sponsored the whistleblower bill.

He says has still not received any assurance from DEQ they would not take retaliatory action against employees who speak to investigators.

Brown says his bill expands protections currently provided by the state.

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