Senate File 400 - Introduced SENATE FILE 400 BY SCHNEIDER A BILL FOR An Act relating to disclosures of certain information, 1 including reprisals with respect to employees of a political 2 subdivision of the state and providing information to 3 employees concerning the office of ombudsman. 4 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA: 5 TLSB 2431XS (6) 88 ec/rn
S.F. 400 Section 1. Section 70A.29, subsection 1, Code 2019, is 1 amended to read as follows: 2 1. A person shall not discharge an employee from or take 3 or fail to take action regarding an employee’s appointment or 4 proposed appointment to, promotion or proposed promotion to, 5 or any advantage in, a position in employment by a political 6 subdivision of this state as a reprisal for a disclosure of any 7 information by that employee to a member or employee of the 8 general assembly, or an official of that political subdivision , 9 a person providing human resource management for that political 10 subdivision, or a state official , or for a disclosure of 11 information to any other public official or law enforcement 12 agency if the employee reasonably believes the information 13 evidences a violation of law or rule, mismanagement, a gross 14 abuse of funds, an abuse of authority, or a substantial and 15 specific danger to public health or safety. This section does 16 not apply if the disclosure of the information is prohibited 17 by statute. 18 Sec. 2. Section 70A.29, subsection 3, Code 2019, is amended 19 to read as follows: 20 3. Subsection 1 may be enforced through a civil action. 21 a. A person who violates subsection 1 is liable to 22 an aggrieved employee for affirmative relief including 23 reinstatement, with or without back pay, or civil damages in an 24 amount not to exceed three times the annual wages and benefits 25 received by the aggrieved employee prior to the violation of 26 subsection 1, and any other equitable relief the court deems 27 appropriate, including attorney fees and costs. 28 b. When a person commits, is committing, or proposes to 29 commit an act in violation of subsection 1 , an injunction may 30 be granted through an action in district court to prohibit the 31 person from continuing such acts. The action for injunctive 32 relief may be brought by an aggrieved employee , or the county 33 attorney , or the person providing human resource management for 34 the political subdivision . 35 -1- LSB 2431XS (6) 88 ec/rn 1/ 2
S.F. 400 Sec. 3. Section 70A.29, Code 2019, is amended by adding the 1 following new subsection: 2 NEW SUBSECTION . 4. Each political subdivision of this 3 state subject to the requirements of this section shall provide 4 procedures for notifying new employees of the authority of the 5 office of ombudsman to investigate complaints under chapter 6 2C and shall periodically conduct promotional campaigns to 7 provide similar information to all employees of the political 8 subdivision. The information shall include the toll-free 9 telephone number of the ombudsman. 10 EXPLANATION 11 The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with 12 the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly. 13 This bill relates to disclosures of certain information 14 by an employee of a political subdivision of the state and 15 provides for notification to employees regarding the ability of 16 the office of ombudsman to investigate complaints. 17 Code section 70A.29, prohibiting adverse employment action 18 for certain disclosures of information by an employee of a 19 political subdivision of the state, is amended. The bill 20 provides that an aggrieved employee may recover civil damages 21 in an amount up to three times the employee’s annual wages and 22 benefits at the time of the violation of the Code section. 23 The bill specifically authorizes disclosure of information by 24 an employee to a person providing human resource management 25 for the political subdivision of the state that employed the 26 employee and allows that person to seek injunctive relief for a 27 violation of the Code section. 28 The bill also requires each political subdivision of the 29 state subject to Code section 70A.29 to provide information 30 to employees of the authority of the office of ombudsman to 31 investigate complaints under Code chapter 2C, including the 32 toll-free telephone number of the ombudsman. 33 -2- LSB 2431XS (6) 88 ec/rn 2/ 2