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Project on Government Oversight

POGO supports legislative fix to provide University of California employees the same whistleblower protections as other state employees

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August 12, 2008 | By: Scott H. Amey, J.D.

Senator Leland Y. Yee, Ph.D.
California State Senate
State Capitol, Room 4048
Sacramento , CA 95814


Via Facsimile (916) 327-2186

Dear Senator Yee:

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) commends your legislative efforts through SB 1199 to provide University of California (UC) employees the same whistleblower protections as other state employees.

As an independent nonprofit organization committed to achieving a more accountable federal government, POGO has urged the federal government to better protect government insiders who report waste, fraud, and abuse in government activities and spending. In a setback to whistleblowers, the Supreme Court of California, following a California statute, issued a recent opinion stating that the UC can avoid liability in whistleblower cases simply by deciding whistleblower allegations. Under the Court’s ruling, if UC merely renders a decision on a case in a timely fashion, UC employees (who are spread out at ten campuses and three Department of Energy labs in California and New Mexico ) do not have standing to file for damages under the California Whistleblower Protection Act ( WPA ).

Thank you for your leadership in remedying the current law and thereby protecting UC whistleblowers. Without an independent legal remedy, UC would be its own judge and jury in cases alleging that it had retaliated against its employees. POGO strongly supports the UC whistleblower protections included in SB 1199 as amended.

Sincerely,


Scott H. Amey
General Counsel


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