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Chapter 406: Whistleblowers

Section 406.01: Whistleblowers Responsibilities

  1. Any elected official, employee, or board member who possesses actual knowledge of a violation of this Title shall inform the Inspector General within five days of discovering the violation, unless the individual knows the violation has already been reported.
  2. Any person who reasonably believes a violation of this Title or of any state or federal ethics law, rule, or regulation has occurred, or will occur, may file a complaint with the Inspector General.
  3. No elected official, employee, board member, lobbyist, or contractor shall file a complaint with the Inspector General that includes information he or she knows to be false, or which has been submitted in bad faith or with reckless disregard for the truth.
  4. No person shall retaliate against any individual who, in good faith, has filed a written report or expressed in writing his or her intent to report a violation or suspected violation of this Code, whether such retaliation is through threat, coercion, harassment, abuse of authority, or adverse employment action. 
  5. Any act of retaliation shall be considered a separate violation of this Code.  All complaints of retaliation shall be reported to the Inspector General for investigation.   

(Ordinance Nos.O2016-0002, Enacted 4/26/2016, Effective 5/27/2016; O2011-0008, Enacted 4/5/2011, Effective 4/8/2011; O2011-0004, Enacted 1/3/2011, Effective 1/10/2011)

Section 406.02 Whistleblower Rights

  1. Pursuant to Section 124.341 of the Ohio Revised Code, if an appointing authority takes any final disciplinary or retaliatory action against an employee as a result of the employee’s having filed a written report or complaint of a violation of state or federal statutes, rules, or regulations or the misuse of public resources, the employee’s sole remedy is to file an appeal with the state personnel board of review within the time period prescribed by law.
  2. If an employee believes he or she has been subject to retaliation for having filed a complaint of a violation of this Title that is not a violation reportable under Ohio Revised Code Section 124.341, he or she shall report such retaliation to the Department of Human Resources.  If an appointing authority or the Department of Human Resources takes any final disciplinary or retaliatory action against an employee as a result of the employee’s having filed a report or complaint under this Title that is not a violation reportable under Ohio Revised Code Section 124.341, the employee may file an appeal with the Personnel Review Commission.  Any complaint giving rise to an alleged retaliatory act must be filed in writing in order for an employee to exercise his or her appeal rights under this paragraph. A complaint filed in writing may be submitted anonymously; provided however that the employee shall bear the burden of proving that the employee was the source of the anonymous complaint upon appeal. Claims of retaliation heard by the Personnel Review Commission shall be appealable to the Court of Common Pleas pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Chapter 2506.
  3. The annual training provided to employees, as required in Chapter 403 of this code, shall include a notice to employees enumerating their whistleblower rights and responsibilities, including the requirement that an employee must submit any initial ethics complaint in writing to properly exercise his or her appeal rights in the event of whistleblower retaliation.

(Ordinance Nos.O2016-0002, Enacted 4/26/2016, Effective 5/27/2016; O2011-0008, Enacted 4/5/2011, Effective 4/8/2011; O2011-0004, Enacted 1/3/2011, Effective 1/10/2011)

Sections 406.03-406.07 Repealed on 4/26/2016 by Ordinance No. O2016-0002