To "blow the whistle" is to report an illegal or unethical act by your employer to the proper authorities or to the press. Therefore, state "whistleblower laws" are intended to prevent companies from retaliating against employees who blow the whistle, providing tough sanctions on those who do. Some states only apply to public sector employees, but others also protect those in the private sector. Additionally, the federal government also provides whistleblower protections pertaining to the Clean Air Act, the Toxic Substance Control Act, and other federal regulations.
What Protections Does Colorado Have for Whistleblowers?
The state of Colorado protects both public- and private-sector employees from any adverse action taken in response to a whistleblower's actions. This protection is conditional on the employee acting in good faith, regardless of the actual truth of the matter disclosed, and without disclosing confidential information.
Details of Colorado's two whistleblower statutes are listed in the following charts:
|Code Section||24-50.5- 101 to 107|
|Prohibited Employer Activity||Can not initiate or administer any disciplinary action if employee disclosed information on actions of state agencies that are not in the public interest, unless employee knows information is false or discloses with disregard for truth, or disclosed information on records closed to public inspection or discloses information which is confidential under any other law|
|Protection for Public or Private Employees?||Public|
|Opportunity for Employer to Correct?||-|
|Remedies||If employee in state personnel system: may file a written complaint within 30 days with state personnel board to get reinstatement, back pay, restore lost service credit, records expunged, and any other additional relief as found appropriate by the board. If not or have already filed a complaint, but complaint denied: can bring civil suit to recover damages, court costs and other relief|
|Code Section||§24-114- 101, et. seq.|
|Prohibited Employer Activity||Can not initiate or administer any disciplinary action if employee discloses information unless employee knows information is false, or information confidential under laws|
|Protection for Public or Private Employees?||Private|
|Opportunity for Employer to Correct?||Employee must make good faith effort to provide supervisor or appointing authority or member of general assembly with information to be disclosed before disclosing|
|Remedies||Can bring civil action; court can give damages, court costs and other appropriate relief|
Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Colorado whistleblower attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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Colorado Whistleblower Laws: Related Resources
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