AN ACT PROVIDING THAT CITIES SHALL ADOPT RULES AND REGULATIONS ENCOURAGING THEIR EMPLOYEES TO REPORT IMPROPER OR UNLAWFUL ACTIVITY AND REQUIRING CITIES TO PROTECT EMPLOYEES WHO REPORT SUCH ACTIVITY FROM RETALIATION OR OTHER DISCRIMINATORY ACTION.
Enacts GS 160A-290, prohibiting retaliation against a municipal law enforcement officer by a municipal government public official because the officer or a person acting on the officer's behalf reports in writing evidence of activity constituting a violation of a State or federal law or regulation, fraud, misappropriation of State and local government resources, or substantial and specific danger to the public health and safety. Defines employing agency and municipal law enforcement officer. Specifies that a municipal law enforcement officer is a full-time employee, serving in a position as described. Exempts from the statute's provisions an employing agency that has a binding personnel policy, a code of conduct, or other binding procedures protecting employees from retaliation. Provides a policy statement.
Allows for a municipal law enforcement officer injured by a violation of the statute to bring a civil action for damages, an injunction, reinstatement, payment of back wages, full reinstatement of fringe benefits and seniority rights, costs, and/or reasonable attorneys' fees. Sets the statute of limitations to one year of the alleged violation. Specifies that any retaliation employment discrimination claim arising under Article 21 of GS Chapter 95 must be maintained and redressed by the remedies and relief pursuant to that Article's provisions. Requires employing agencies to post notice and keep officers informed of the statute's protections and obligations, with the State responsible for the cost for producing the postings. Makes it a Class 2 misdemeanor for an officer to knowingly file a false writing pursuant to the statute.
Applies to acts incurring liability and offenses committed on or after October 1, 2019.
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