EXECUTIVE ORDER BANNING RETALIATION AGAINST WHISTLE BLOWERS
WHEREAS, in 1987 the Illinois General Assembly enacted the Whistle Blower Protection Act, 5 ILCS 395/0.01, et seq., which protects the anonymity of any employee of any Constitutional Officer of this State who discloses information which the employee reasonably believes evidences (1) a violation of any law, rule, or regulation, or (2) mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to the public health or safety; and
WHEREAS, the Whistle Blower Protection Act further provides that no disciplinary action shall be taken against any such employee for the disclosure of any alleged prohibited activity under investigation or for any related activity; and
WHEREAS, the State has a compelling interest in deterring retaliatory conduct against whistle blowers, and in providing penalties for such conduct when it does occur;
THEREFORE, I hereby order the following with respect to all officers, employees and appointees in all agencies, departments, offices, boards, and commissions directly responsible to the Governor (which agencies, departments, offices, boards, and commissions are hereinafter referred to as “agency”):
- Any officer, employee or appointee of any agency is banned from retaliating against, attempting to retaliate against, or in any manner interfering with a whistle blower for reasons arising out of the whistle blower’s activities as described in the Whistle Blower Protection Act.
- Any officer, employee or appointee of any agency who knowingly violates the provisions contained in this Order shall be subject to disciplinary action, including but not limited to discharge.
- Each director or other agency head shall cause a copy of this Executive Order to be distributed to each officer, employee and appointee in the agency.
This Executive Order shall be in full force and effect upon its filing with the Secretary of State.
Rod R. Blagojevich, Governor
Issued by Governor: January 23, 2003
Filed with Secretary of State: January 23, 2003