H7: Protect City Employees From Retaliation. Latest Version

AN ACT TO REQUIRE cities TO adopt AN ORDINANCE TO ESTABLISH a PROCEDURE FOR and to encourage city employees to report improper or unlawful activity and to require cities to protect employees who report such activity from retaliation or other discriminatory action.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1.  G.S. 160A‑164 reads as rewritten:

§ 160A‑164.  Personnel rules.ordinances; reporting improper or unlawful activity; protect employees from retaliation.

(a)        The council shall adopt an ordinance required by subsection (b) of this section and may adopt or provide for rules and regulations policies or ordinances concerning but not limited to annual leave, sick leave, special leave with full pay or with partial pay supplementing workers' compensation payments for employees injured in accidents arising out of and in the course of employment, hours of employment, holidays, working conditions, service award and incentive award programs, other personnel policies, and any other measures that promote the hiring and retention of capable, diligent, and honest career employees.

(b)        The council shall adopt an ordinance to establish a procedure for and to encourage city employees to report to their immediate supervisor, department head, or other appropriate authority, evidence of any of the following:

(1)        Violations of State or federal law, rule, or regulation, or city ordinance.

(2)        Fraud.

(3)        Misappropriation of federal, State, or city resources.

(4)        Any activity that poses a substantial and specific danger to public health and safety.

(5)        Gross mismanagement, including the gross waste of public monies or the gross abuse of authority.

(c)        Ordinances adopted under subsection (b) of this section shall prohibit retaliation by the city council or any city employee against the employee who reports, or intends to report, any activity under subsection (b) of this section and shall prohibit discharging the employee, or threatening or otherwise discriminating against the employee regarding the employee's compensation, terms, conditions, location, or privileges of employment.

(d)       Nothing in this section prohibits disciplinary action against an employee who makes a report the employee knows or has reason to know is inaccurate.

(e)        The council shall post and keep posted a notice explaining the provisions of subsections (b), (c), and (d) of this section. The notice shall be posted in a conspicuous place where city employees are employed and placed in a manner to permit city employees to readily observe the notice.

SECTION 2.  This act becomes effective October 1, 2021.