House Study Bill 146 - IntroducedA Bill ForAn Act 1relating to investigations conducted by the office of
1   Section 1.  Section 2C.11A, Code 2023, is amended to read as
   32C.11A  Subjects for investigations — disclosures of
   5The office of ombudsman shall either investigate or decline
6to investigate
a complaint filed by an employee who is not a
7merit system employee or an employee covered by a collective
8bargaining agreement and who alleges that adverse employment
9action has been taken against the employee in violation of
10section 70A.28, subsection 2. A complaint filed pursuant
11to this section shall be made within thirty calendar days
12following the effective date of the adverse employment action.
13The ombudsman shall investigate review the matter and shall,
14in writing to the employee, either decline to investigate the
15matter or
issue findings following an investigation relative
16to the complaint in an expeditious manner. The ombudsman’s
17findings following an investigation shall also be provided to
18the agency or officer who is the subject of the allegations.

19   Sec. 2.  Section 70A.28, subsection 6, Code 2023, is amended
20to read as follows:
   216.  Subsection 2 may also be enforced by an employee through
22an administrative action pursuant to the requirements of this
23subsection if the employee is not a merit system employee or
24an employee covered by a collective bargaining agreement. An
25employee eligible to pursue an administrative action pursuant
26to this subsection who is discharged, suspended, demoted,
27or otherwise receives a reduction in pay and who believes
28the adverse employment action was taken as a result of the
29employee’s disclosure of information that was authorized
30pursuant to subsection 2, may file an appeal of the adverse
31employment action with the public employment relations
32board within thirty calendar days following the later of the
33effective date of the action or the date a finding or written
34decision declining to investigate
is issued to the employee
35by the office of ombudsman pursuant to section 2C.11A. The
-1-1findings issued by the ombudsman may be introduced as evidence
2before the public employment relations board. The employee has
3the right to a hearing closed to the public, but may request a
4public hearing. The hearing shall otherwise be conducted in
5accordance with the rules of the public employment relations
6board and the Iowa administrative procedure Act, chapter 17A.
7 If the public employment relations board finds that the action
8taken in regard to the employee was in violation of subsection
92, the employee may be reinstated without loss of pay or
10benefits for the elapsed period, or the public employment
11relations board may provide other appropriate remedies.
12Decisions by the public employment relations board constitute
13final agency action.
15The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with
16the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly.
   17This bill concerns investigations conducted by the office
18of ombudsman.
   19Code section 2C.11A, concerning certain whistleblower
20complaints filed by an employee that are subject to
21investigation by the office of ombudsman, is amended to provide
22that the office of ombudsman may, in writing to the employee,
23decline to investigate the complaint. The bill also provides
24that if findings are issued following an investigation, the
25findings shall also be provided to the agency or officer who
26is the subject of the allegations. Code section 70A.28,
27concerning whistleblower complaints, is amended to conform to
28the changes made to Code section 2C.11A.
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