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(A) Definitions. For the purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
(a) Any officer, member or agency;
(b) The federal government;
(c) Any local law enforcement agency or prosecutorial office;
(d) Any judiciary, grand or petit jury, law enforcement agency or prosecutorial office; and
(e) Any officer, employee, department, agency or other division of any of the foregoing.
RETALIATORY ACTION. The reprimand, discharge, suspension, demotion or denial of promotion or transfer of any employee in the terms and conditions of employment, and that is taken in retaliation for an employee’s involvement in protected activity, as set forth in division (B) of this section.
SUPERVISOR. An officer, a member or an employee who has the authority to direct and control the work performance of a employee or who has authority to take corrective action regarding any violation of a law, rule or regulation of which the employee complains.
(B) Protected activity. An officer, a member or an agency shall not take any retaliatory action against an employee because the employee does any of the following:
(1) Discloses or threatens to disclose to a supervisor or to a public body an activity, policy or practice of any officer, member, agency or other employee that the employee reasonably believes is in violation of a law, rule or regulation;
(2) Provides information to or testifies before any public body or Ethics Commission conducting an investigation, hearing or inquiry into any violation of a law, rule or regulation by any officer, member, agency or other employee; or
(3) Assists or participates in a proceeding to enforce the provisions of this subchapter.
(C) Burden of proof.
(1) A violation of this section may be established only upon a finding that:
(a) The employee engaged in conduct described in division (B) above; and
(b) The conduct was a contributing factor in the retaliatory action alleged by the employee.
(2) It is not a violation, however, if it is demonstrated that the officer, member, other employee or agency would have taken the same unfavorable personnel action in the absence of that conduct.
(1) The employee may be awarded all remedies necessary to make the employee whole and to prevent future violations of this section.
(2) Remedies imposed by the court may include, but are not limited to, all of the following:
(a) Reinstatement of the employee to either the same position held before the retaliatory action or to an equivalent position;
(b) Two times the amount of back pay;
(c) Interest on the back pay; and
(d) The reinstatement of full fringe benefits and seniority rights.
(E) Preemption. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to diminish the rights, privileges or remedies of an employee under any other federal or state law, rule or regulation or under any collective bargaining agreement or employment contract.
(1980 Code, § 32.54) (Ord. 04-168, passed 5-20-2004; Ord. 05-499, passed 11-17-2005) Penalty, see § 32.999