In Kentucky, public employees are protected from retaliation or punishment when they disclose or report things like violations of the law, mismanagement, fraud, waste, or abuse of authority within public agencies. The Kentucky Whistleblower Act’s purpose is to protect public employees with knowledge of wrongdoing and who step forward to help uncover and disclose that information.
Who is protected by the Kentucky Whistleblower Act?
The Act protects public employees who work for the state or a “subdivision” of the state. This includes employees of state agencies, county employees, and employees of agencies like water districts.
Does the Kentucky Whistleblower Act protect me if I work for a private employer?
The short answer to this question is no, the Kentucky Whistleblower Act does not protect employees of private companies. If your private employer is contracting with the state or acting on behalf of the state, in certain specific instances, you could be protected by the Kentucky Whistleblower Act.
What type of reports qualify as whistleblowing?
The Kentucky Whistleblower Act protects public employees when they blow the whistle on “an actual or suspected violation of any law, statute, executive order, administrative regulation, mandate, rule, or ordinance of the United States, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, or any of its political subdivisions, or any facts or information relative to actual or suspected mismanagement, waste, fraud, abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety.” KRS § 61.102. Protected reports can include reports of misuse of funds, violations of departmental rules or regulations, and violations of the law.
Be aware that laws like the federal Whistleblower Protection Act protects federal employees, and the False Claims Act can protect certain private employees when they blow the whistle on fraudulent actions taken against the federal government.
If you think you have been retaliated against for because you blew the whistle on a bad actor, contact the attorneys at Abney Law online or call (502) 498-8585 to schedule a free consultation.