WHISTLEBLOWERS' PROTECTION ACT
Public Employee Complaint Investigation Process
275-E:8 Complaint Investigation by Department of Labor.
I. The department of labor shall have the authority to receive and investigate complaints or information from any public employee concerning the possible existence of any activity constituting fraud, waste, or abuse in the expenditure of any public funds, whether state or local, or relating to programs and operations involving the procurement of any supplies, services, or construction by governmental entities within the state.
II. The labor commissioner shall make an initial determination as to whether a complaint received under paragraph I is without merit, unfounded, or in need of further information, in which case, the complaint may be dismissed without further action, or held until such time as additional information is received, or dismissed if no further information is received within the time period specified by the commissioner. If the labor commissioner makes an initial determination that the complaint has merit and warrants further investigation, the labor commissioner may undertake such investigation or refer the matter to the appropriate enforcement authority. The identity of the person who filed the complaint shall not be disclosed without his or her written consent, unless such disclosure is to a law enforcement agency that is conducting a criminal investigation.
III. If the labor commissioner undertakes further investigation of the complaint, the commissioner shall have access to all records, confidential or otherwise, reports, audits, reviews, papers, books, documents, recommendations, and correspondence, including information or data that is deemed necessary by the commissioner to carry out the investigation. The labor commissioner may request such information, cooperation, and assistance from any state, county, or local governmental agency and may coordinate activities with the attorney general's office. In carrying out his or her duties and responsibilities, the labor commissioner shall immediately report to the attorney general and either the United States Attorney or local enforcement agency any suspected violation of state or federal criminal law.
IV. No governmental entity shall take any retaliatory action against a public employee who, in good faith, files a complaint under this section and the public employee shall be afforded all protections under RSA 275-E:2.
V. The labor commissioner shall adopt rules under RSA 541-A relative to the complaint investigation process established in this section, including the administrative procedure used for responding to complaints, gathering additional information, and rendering decisions.
VI. For purposes of this subdivision, the labor commissioner shall include any person designated by the labor commissioner to carry out the investigation authorized by this section. Public employee shall mean any employee of a governmental entity, as defined in RSA 275-E:1, III.
Source. 2010, 340:1, eff. July 20, 2010.