For the purposes of this article, the following terms have the following meanings:
(a) “Employee” means an individual appointed by the Governor, or employed or holding office in a state agency as defined by Section 11000 , including, for purposes of Sections 8547.3 to 8547.7 , inclusive, an employee of the California State University, or an individual appointed by the Legislature to a state board or commission and who is not a Member or employee of the Legislature. In addition, “employee” means a person employed by the Supreme Court, a court of appeal, a superior court, or the Administrative Office of the Courts for the purposes of Sections 8547.3 to 8547.7 , inclusive, and Section 8547.13 , except for those provisions of Section 8547.4 concerning notice of adverse action and the State Personnel Board. “Employee” includes a former employee who met the criteria of this subdivision during his or her employment.
(b) “Illegal order” means a directive to violate or assist in violating a federal, state, or local law, rule, or regulation, or an order to work or cause others to work in conditions outside of their line of duty that would unreasonably threaten the health or safety of employees or the public.
(c) “Improper governmental activity” means an activity by a state agency or by an employee that is undertaken in the performance of the employee's duties, undertaken inside a state office, or, if undertaken outside a state office by the employee, directly relates to state government, whether or not that activity is within the scope of his or her employment, and that (1) is in violation of any state or federal law or regulation, including, but not limited to, corruption, malfeasance, bribery, theft of government property, fraudulent claims, fraud, coercion, conversion, malicious prosecution, misuse of government property, or willful omission to perform duty, (2) is in violation of an Executive order of the Governor, a California Rule of Court, or any policy or procedure mandated by the State Administrative Manual or State Contracting Manual, or (3) is economically wasteful, involves gross misconduct, incompetency, or inefficiency. For purposes of Sections 8547.4 , 8547.5 , 8547.7 , 8547.10 , and 8547.11 , “improper governmental activity” includes any activity by the University of California or by an employee, including an officer or faculty member, who otherwise meets the criteria of this subdivision. For purposes of Sections 8547.4 , 8547.5 , and 8547.13 , “improper governmental activity” includes any activity by the Supreme Court, a court of appeal, a superior court, or the Administrative Office of the Courts, or by an employee thereof, who otherwise meets the criteria of this subdivision.
(d) “Person” means an individual, corporation, trust, association, a state or local government, or an agency or instrumentality of any of the foregoing.
(e) “Protected disclosure” means a good faith communication, including a communication based on, or when carrying out, job duties, that discloses or demonstrates an intention to disclose information that may evidence (1) an improper governmental activity, or (2) a condition that may significantly threaten the health or safety of employees or the public if the disclosure or intention to disclose was made for the purpose of remedying that condition. Protected disclosure specifically includes a good faith communication to the California State Auditor's Office alleging an improper governmental activity and any evidence delivered to the California State Auditor's Office in support of the allegation. “Protected disclosure” also includes, but is not limited to, a complaint made to the Commission on Judicial Performance.
(f) “State agency” is defined by Section 11000 . “State agency” includes the University of California for purposes of Sections 8547.5 to 8547.7 , inclusive, and the California State University for purposes of Sections 8547.3 to 8547.7 , inclusive. Sections 8547.3 to 8547.7 , inclusive, shall apply to the Supreme Court, the courts of appeal, the superior courts, and the Administrative Office of the Courts in the same manner as they apply to a state agency.
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