A. No governmental agency may threaten or otherwise discriminate or retaliate against a citizen whistle blower because the whistle blower is requested or subpoenaed by an appropriate authority to participate in an investigation, hearing, or inquiry by an appropriate authority or in a court action.

Terms Used In Virginia Code 2.2-3010.1

  • Abuse: means an employer's or employee's conduct or omissions that result in substantial misuse, destruction, waste, or loss of funds or resources belonging to or derived from federal, state, or local government sources. See Virginia Code 2.2-3010
  • Appropriate authority: means a federal, state, or local agency or organization having jurisdiction over criminal law enforcement, regulatory violations, professional conduct or ethics, or abuse; or a member, officer, agent, representative, or supervisory employee of the agency or organization. See Virginia Code 2.2-3010
  • Fraud: Intentional deception resulting in injury to another.
  • Governmental agency: means (i) any agency, institution, board, bureau, commission, council, or instrumentality of state government in the executive branch listed in the appropriation act and any independent agency; (ii) any county, city, or town or local or regional governmental authority; and (iii) any local school division as defined in § 22. See Virginia Code 2.2-3010
  • Whistle blower: includes a citizen of the Commonwealth who witnesses or has evidence of wrongdoing or abuse and who makes or demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence that he is about to make a good faith report of, or testifies or is about to testify to, the wrongdoing or abuse to an appropriate authority. See Virginia Code 2.2-3010
  • Wrongdoing: means a violation, which is not of a merely technical or minimal nature, of a federal or state law or regulation, local ordinance, or a formally adopted code of conduct or ethics of a professional organization designed to protect the interests of the public or employee. See Virginia Code 2.2-3010

B. To be protected by the provisions of this chapter, a citizen of the Commonwealth who discloses information about suspected wrongdoing or abuse shall do so in good faith and upon a reasonable belief that the information is accurate. Disclosures that are reckless or that the citizen knew or should have known were false, confidential by law, or malicious shall not be deemed good faith reports and shall not be protected.

C. Any citizen whistle blower disclosing information of wrongdoing or abuse under this chapter where the disclosure results in a recovery of at least $5,000 may file a claim for reward under the Fraud and Abuse Whistle Blower Reward Fund established in § 2.2-3014.

D. Except for the provisions of subsection F of § 2.2-3011, nothing in this chapter shall be construed to limit the remedies provided by the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act (§ 8.01-216.1 et seq.).

2014, c. 403; 2016, c. 292.