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Bill would give whistleblower protection for state workers

Del. Bill Janis, R-Glen Allen, wants to undo a Virginia Supreme Court decision barring state and local government workers from some protections of the state whistleblower law.

Janis has prefiled legislation for the 2011 General Assembly to provide relief for government employees who are fired or otherwise retaliated against for reporting wrongdoing. The bill comes in response to the Supreme Court’s February opinion in Ligon v. Goochland.

In that case, a Goochland County employee sought double back pay, attorneys’ fees and other relief from the county, claiming he was fired for reporting misdeeds in the county shops. Goochland Circuit Judge Timothy Sanner sustained a demurrer based on sovereign immunity and the Supreme Court affirmed.

By Peter Vieth

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