Whistleblower Act

The following is the State of Kansas Whistleblower Act which is listed in K.S.A. 75-2973 (1995 Supplement).

75-2973. Communications by state employees with legislators, legislative committees and others; prohibiting certain acts by supervisors and appointing authorities; appeal to state civil service board; posting copy of act; disciplinary action defined; officers and employees in unclassified service may bring civil action for relief.

(a) No supervisor or appointing authority of any state agency shall prohibit any employee of the agency from discussing the operation of the agency, either specifically or generally, with any member of the legislature.

(b) No supervisor or appointing authority of any state agency shall:

  1. Prohibit any employee of the agency from reporting any violation of state or federal law or rules and regulations to any person, agency or organization; or

  2. require any such employee to give notice to the supervisor or appointing authority prior to making any such report.

(c) This section shall not be construed as:

  1. Prohibiting a supervisor or appointing authority from requiring that an employee inform the supervisor or appointing authority as to legislative requests for information to the agency or the substance of testimony made, or to be made, by the employee to legislators on behalf of the agency;

  2. permitting an employee to leave the employee's assigned work area during normal work hours without following applicable rules and regulations and policies pertaining to leaves, unless the employee is requested by a legislator or legislative committee to appear before a legislative committee;

  3. authorizing an employee to represent the employee's personal opinions as the opinions of a state agency; or

  4. prohibiting disciplinary action of an employee who discloses information which:

    (A) The employee knows to be false or which the employee discloses with reckless disregard for its truth or falsity,

    (B) the employee knows to be exempt from required disclosure under the Open Records Act or

    (C) is confidential under any other provision of law.

(d) Any officer or employee who is in the classified service and has permanent status under the Kansas Civil service Act may appeal to the State Civil Service Board whenever the officer or employee alleges that disciplinary action was taken against the officer or employee in violation of this act in any court of law or administrative hearing. The appeal shall be filed within 30 days of the alleged disciplinary action. Procedures governing the appeal shall be in accordance with subsections (f) and (g) of K.S.A. 75-2949 and amendments thereto and K.S.A. 75-2929d through 75-2929g and amendments thereto. If the board finds that disciplinary action taken was unreasonable, the board shall modify or reverse the agency's action and order such relief for the employee as the board considers appropriate. If the board finds a violation of this act, it may require as a penalty that the violator be suspended on leave without pay for not more than 30 days or, in cases of willful or repeated violations, may require that the violator forfeit the violator's position as a state officer or employee and disqualify the violator for appointment to or employment as a state officer or employee for a period of not more than two years. The decision of the board in such cases may be appealed by any party pursuant to law.

(e) Each state agency shall prominently post a copy of this act in locations where it can reasonably be expected to come to the attention of all employees of the agency.

(f) As used in this section "disciplinary action" means any dismissal, demotion, transfer, reassignment, suspension, reprimand, warning of possible dismissal or withholding of work.

(g) Any officer or employee who is in the unclassified service who alleges that disciplinary action has been taken against such officer or employee in violation of this section may bring a civil action for appropriate injunctive relief, or actual damages, or both within 90 days after the occurrence of the alleged violation. A court, in rendering a judgment in an action brought pursuant to this act, shall order, as the court considered appropriate, reinstatement of the officer or employee, the payment of back wages, full reinstatement of fringe benefits and seniority rights, actual damages, or any combination of these remedies. A court may also award such officer or employee all or a portion of the cost of litigation, including reasonable attorney fees and witness fees.