Senate File 400 - IntroducedA Bill ForAn Act 1relating to disclosures of certain information,
2including reprisals with respect to employees of a political
3subdivision of the state and providing information to
4employees concerning the office of ombudsman.
1   Section 1.  Section 70A.29, subsection 1, Code 2019, is
2amended to read as follows:
   31.  A person shall not discharge an employee from or take
4or fail to take action regarding an employee’s appointment or
5proposed appointment to, promotion or proposed promotion to,
6or any advantage in, a position in employment by a political
7subdivision of this state as a reprisal for a disclosure of any
8information by that employee to a member or employee of the
9general assembly, or an official of that political subdivision,
10a person providing human resource management for that political
or a state official, or for a disclosure of
12information to any other public official or law enforcement
13agency if the employee reasonably believes the information
14evidences a violation of law or rule, mismanagement, a gross
15abuse of funds, an abuse of authority, or a substantial and
16specific danger to public health or safety. This section does
17not apply if the disclosure of the information is prohibited
18by statute.
19   Sec. 2.  Section 70A.29, subsection 3, Code 2019, is amended
20to read as follows:
   213.  Subsection 1 may be enforced through a civil action.
   22a.  A person who violates subsection 1 is liable to
23an aggrieved employee for affirmative relief including
24reinstatement, with or without back pay, or civil damages in an
25amount not to exceed three times the annual wages and benefits
26received by the aggrieved employee prior to the violation of
27subsection 1, and
any other equitable relief the court deems
28appropriate, including attorney fees and costs.
   29b.  When a person commits, is committing, or proposes to
30commit an act in violation of subsection 1, an injunction may
31be granted through an action in district court to prohibit the
32person from continuing such acts. The action for injunctive
33relief may be brought by an aggrieved employee, or the county
34attorney, or the person providing human resource management for
35the political subdivision
1   Sec. 3.  Section 70A.29, Code 2019, is amended by adding the
2following new subsection:
3   NEW SUBSECTION.  4.  Each political subdivision of this
4state subject to the requirements of this section shall provide
5procedures for notifying new employees of the authority of the
6office of ombudsman to investigate complaints under chapter
72C and shall periodically conduct promotional campaigns to
8provide similar information to all employees of the political
9subdivision. The information shall include the toll-free
10telephone number of the ombudsman.
12The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with
13the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly.
   14This bill relates to disclosures of certain information
15by an employee of a political subdivision of the state and
16provides for notification to employees regarding the ability of
17the office of ombudsman to investigate complaints.
   18Code section 70A.29, prohibiting adverse employment action
19for certain disclosures of information by an employee of a
20political subdivision of the state, is amended. The bill
21provides that an aggrieved employee may recover civil damages
22in an amount up to three times the employee’s annual wages and
23benefits at the time of the violation of the Code section.
24The bill specifically authorizes disclosure of information by
25an employee to a person providing human resource management
26for the political subdivision of the state that employed the
27employee and allows that person to seek injunctive relief for a
28violation of the Code section.
   29The bill also requires each political subdivision of the
30state subject to Code section 70A.29 to provide information
31to employees of the authority of the office of ombudsman to
32investigate complaints under Code chapter 2C, including the
33toll-free telephone number of the ombudsman.