Kansas Whistleblower Laws

Maybe you’ve seen movies or read stories about an employee bravely revealing his or her employer’s misdeeds. And maybe you thought to yourself, “I bet he got fired for that!” And while it’s true that most of us would be afraid to report on company misconduct for the fear of getting axed, there are strict regulations that protect employees who come forward about fraud or illegal conduct in the workplace. This is an overview of “whistleblower” laws in Kansas.

Whistleblower Laws

State "whistleblower" laws generally prohibit an employer from retaliating against an employee who reports illegal, dangerous, or unethical business practices. These statutes are intended to shield employees from firing, demotion, or other reprisals if they go public with important information. The scope of whistleblower protections may even be increased if the employer’s bad behavior includes fraud or malfeasance against a state or federal government.

Kansas Whistle Blower Statutes

The details of Kansas’s whistleblower laws are listed below.

Code Section

Kansas Statutes 75-2973: Kansas Whistleblower Act

Prohibited Employer Activity

Cannot prohibit employee from discussing the agency's operation with member of legislature, reporting violation of state or federal law, rules or regulations or require prior notice to making report

Protection for Public or Private Employees?

Public

Opportunity for Employer to Correct?

-

Remedies

If employee is permanent, classified, can appeal to state civil service board, any court of law or administrative hearing, if filed within 30 days of alleged disciplinary action. If employee is unclassified, can bring civil action, for injunction and/or actual damage, within 90 days of alleged violation. Court can grant reinstatement, back wages, full reinstatement of benefits and seniority rights, actual damages, and reasonable attorney fees and witness fees

Penalties

If officer or employee is permanent, classified, suspension on leave without pay for maximum of 30 days; if willful or repeated violation, may require resignation or disqualification for appointment to or employment as a state officer or employee for maximum of 2 years

For the most part, Kansas’s whistleblower statute only applies to public employees. As noted above, however, there are federal protections that may apply to whistleblowers who believe their company has defrauded the government. The federal False Claims Act allows employees to file what are known as “qui tam actions” to report fraud against the government and remain defended from employer retaliation. Also, whistleblowers in cases of securities, shareholder, and other kinds of fraud may be protected under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

More Resources for Kansas Whistleblower Laws

It’s not always easy to comprehend state and federal employment laws. You can visit FindLaw’s section on Employment Law for additional articles and information on this topic. You can also consult with a Kansas whistleblower attorney in your area if you would like legal assistance regarding an employment matter.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.