Senate File 502 - EnrolledAn Actrelating to disclosures of certain information,
including reprisals with respect to employees of the state
and a political subdivision of the state and providing
information to employees concerning the office of ombudsman.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA:
   Section 1.  Section 70A.28, subsections 2 and 5, Code 2019,
are amended to read as follows:
   2.  A person shall not discharge an employee from or take
or fail to take action regarding an employee’s appointment or
proposed appointment to, promotion or proposed promotion to,
or any advantage in, a position in a state employment system
administered by, or subject to approval of, a state agency as a
reprisal for a failure by that employee to inform the person
that the employee made a disclosure of information permitted
by this section, or for a disclosure of any information by
that employee to a member or employee of the general assembly,
a disclosure of information to the office of ombudsman, a
disclosure of information to a person providing human resource
management for the state,
or a disclosure of information to
any other public official or law enforcement agency if the
employee, in good faith, reasonably believes the information
evidences a violation of law or rule, mismanagement, a gross
abuse of funds, an abuse of authority, or a substantial and
specific danger to public health or safety. However, an
employee may be required to inform the person that the employee
made a disclosure of information permitted by this section if
the employee represented that the disclosure was the official
position of the employee’s immediate supervisor or employer.
   5.  Subsection 2 may be enforced through a civil action.
   a.  A person who violates subsection 2 is liable to
an aggrieved employee for affirmative relief including
reinstatement, with or without back pay, or civil damages in an
amount not to exceed three times the annual wages and benefits
received by the aggrieved employee prior to the violation of
subsection 2, and
any other equitable relief the court deems
appropriate, including attorney fees and costs.
   b.  When a person commits, is committing, or proposes to
commit an act in violation of subsection 2, an injunction may
be granted through an action in district court to prohibit the
person from continuing such acts. The action for injunctive
-1-relief may be brought by an aggrieved employee,or the attorney
general, or a person providing human resource management for
the state
.
   Sec. 2.  Section 70A.29, subsection 1, Code 2019, is amended
to read as follows:
   1.  A person shall not discharge an employee from or take
or fail to take action regarding an employee’s appointment or
proposed appointment to, promotion or proposed promotion to,
or any advantage in, a position in employment by a political
subdivision of this state as a reprisal for a disclosure of
any information by that employee to a member or employee
of the general assembly, or an official of that political
subdivision, a person providing human resource management for
that political subdivision,
or a state official, or for a
disclosure of information to any other public official or law
enforcement agency if the employee, in good faith, reasonably
believes the information evidences a violation of law or rule,
mismanagement, a gross abuse of funds, an abuse of authority,
or a substantial and specific danger to public health or
safety. This section does not apply if the disclosure of the
information is prohibited by statute.
   Sec. 3.  Section 70A.29, subsection 3, Code 2019, is amended
to read as follows:
   3.  Subsection 1 may be enforced through a civil action.
   a.  A person who violates subsection 1 is liable to
an aggrieved employee for affirmative relief including
reinstatement, with or without back pay, or civil damages in an
amount not to exceed three times the annual wages and benefits
received by the aggrieved employee prior to the violation of
subsection 1, and
any other equitable relief the court deems
appropriate, including attorney fees and costs.
   b.  When a person commits, is committing, or proposes to
commit an act in violation of subsection 1, an injunction may
be granted through an action in district court to prohibit the
person from continuing such acts. The action for injunctive
-2-relief may be brought by an aggrieved employee, or the county
attorney, or the person providing human resource management for
the political subdivision
.
   Sec. 4.  Section 70A.29, Code 2019, is amended by adding the
following new subsection:
   NEW SUBSECTION.  4.  Each political subdivision of this
state subject to the requirements of this section shall provide
procedures for notifying new employees of the authority of the
office of ombudsman to investigate complaints under chapter 2C
and shall provide information to all employees of the political
subdivision, including the toll-free telephone number of the
ombudsman.
______________________________
CHARLES SCHNEIDERPresident of the Senate
______________________________
LINDA UPMEYERSpeaker of the House
   I hereby certify that this bill originated in the Senate and is known as Senate File 502, Eighty-eighth General Assembly.______________________________
W. CHARLES SMITHSONSecretary of the Senate
Approved _______________, 2019______________________________
KIM REYNOLDSGovernor
ec/rn/mb