Colorado Revised Statutes Title 24 Government State § 24-505-103 Retaliation prohibited--repeal




(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, an appointing authority or supervisor shall not initiate or administer any disciplinary action against an employee on account of the employee's disclosure of information.  This subsection (1) does not apply to an employee who discloses:

(a) Information that he or she knows to be false or who discloses information with disregard for the truth or falsity of the information;

(b) Information from public records that are closed to public inspection pursuant to section 24-72-204 ;  or

(c) Without lawful authority, information that is confidential under any other provision of law or closed to public inspection under section 24-72-204(2)(a)(I) and (2)(a)(VIII) .

(2) An employee who wishes to disclose information under the protection of this article is obligated to make a good-faith effort to provide to his or her supervisor or appointing authority or member of the general assembly the information to be disclosed prior to the time of its disclosure.

(2.5) An appointing authority or supervisor shall not initiate or administer any disciplinary action against an employee on account of the employee's disclosure of information to the fraud hotline administered by the state auditor in accordance with section 2-3-110.5 ;  except that this subsection (2.5) does not apply to an employee who discloses information with disregard for the truth or falsity of the information.

(3) Subsection (2) and paragraphs (b) and (c) of subsection (1) of this section do not apply to an employee who discloses information to a whistleblower review agency.

(4) An employee shall disclose information under subsection (3) of this section to the attorney general or the attorney general's designee unless the information disclosed involves an officer or employee of the department of law.  If the information disclosed under subsection (3) of this section involves an officer or employee of the department of law, an employee may disclose the information to any whistleblower review agency.  Access to information received by a whistleblower review agency under this section is limited to only those persons conducting the review.

(5)(a)(I) Within thirty days after receipt of any information disclosed under subsection (3) of this section, a whistleblower review agency shall determine in writing whether or not the information is:

(A) Closed to public inspection under section 24-72-204 ;  or

(B) Confidential under any other provision of law.

(II) Each whistleblower review agency shall maintain the confidential nature of any information determined to be closed to public inspection or confidential under subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (a).

(b) If a whistleblower review agency determines that any information disclosed under subsection (3) of this section includes trade secrets, or confidential commercial, financial, geological, or geophysical data, the whistleblower review agency shall maintain the confidential nature of the information.

(c)(I) If there is a substantial likelihood that information disclosed under subsection (3) of this section to a whistleblower review agency will be released to the public for reasons including that the whistleblower review agency determines in writing that the information is not confidential, that a request for inspection of the information exists under part 2 of article 72 of this title, or that a person requests a court to compel release of the information, the whistleblower review agency shall immediately give written notice to the owner of the information that the whistleblower review agency is in possession of the information in connection with a disclosure of information under subsection (3) of this section.  Written notice under this paragraph (c) tolls the time period for the inspection of records under section 24-72-203(3) until a reasonable time after the thirty-day time period specified in subsection (6) of this section and the conclusion of any legal proceedings under subsection (6) of this section.  A whistleblower review agency shall not release any information subject to a notice under this paragraph (c) until thirty days after the date that written notice is given to the owner of the information under this paragraph (c).

(II) The written notice must contain the determination of the whistleblower review agency with respect to whether the information is confidential and the circumstances constituting a substantial likelihood that the information will be released to the public.

(III) The written notification requirement of this paragraph (c) does not apply if a whistleblower review agency makes a good-faith effort to locate the owner of the information and reasonably determines that the owner cannot be located.

(6) Any person notified under paragraph (c) of subsection (5) of this section who could be harmed by the release of information described under paragraph (b) of subsection (5) of this section and disclosed under subsection (3) of this section to a whistleblower review agency may, within thirty days after receiving notice under paragraph (c) of subsection (5) of this section, file an action under rule 65 of the Colorado rules of civil procedure against the whistleblower review agency in possession of the information in the district court for the city and county of Denver for injunctive relief prohibiting release of the information.

(7)(a) Subject to subsection (6) of this section, immediately after receiving any information under subsection (3) of this section, a whistleblower review agency shall notify the supervisor or appointing authority of the employee that the whistleblower review agency has received the information and that no retaliatory action may be taken against the employee except under the limited circumstances described in paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of this section.

(b) Subject to subsection (6) of this section, within sixty days after receiving any information under subsection (3) of this section, a whistleblower review agency may confer with and transfer the information to the entity having jurisdiction or authority to investigate any allegation of unlawful behavior.

(8) Except as provided in subsection (5) of this section, if a whistleblower review agency determines that the information or a portion of the information received is not prohibited from disclosure under section 24-72-204 or is not otherwise confidential under any other provision of law, that information may be released to the general assembly or the public upon request.  Each whistleblower review agency shall maintain records of information disclosed to the whistleblower review agency under subsection (3) of this section and of the action of the whistleblower review agency with respect to the information.

(9) Each whistleblower review agency shall designate a person or persons as a point of contact for functions under this section and shall make the contact information for that person or those persons public, both on the website of the whistleblower review agency and by any other appropriate means.

(10) If the person or persons designated under subsection (9) of this section become aware that information from public records that are closed to public inspection under section 24-72-204 or information that is otherwise confidential under the law is determined to have been disclosed at any time without lawful authority, the person or persons designated in subsection (9) of this section shall make reasonable efforts to notify the owner of the information within a reasonable time.

(11) Subsections (3) to (10) of this section and this subsection (11) are repealed, effective May 15, 2018.





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