Whistleblower Complaints

OTHER AVENUES FOR COMPLAINTS – WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINTS

Governmental employees and contractors have avenues for filing whistleblower complaints in addition to Civil Grand Jury complaints. Following are some examples.

The County of Santa Clara’s “24/7 Whistleblower Program” link is here https://www.sccgov.org/sites/wp/File%20A%20Complaint/Pages/File-a-Complaint.aspx

The City of San Jose’s “Whistleblower Hotline” link is here https://www.sanjoseca.gov/your-government/departments/employee-relations/whistleblower-hotline

The City of Sunnyvale provides a complaint form for “harassment, discrimination and retaliation,” which is here https://sunnyvale.ca.gov/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?blobid=26507

Many other governmental agencies have their own employee complaint or whistleblower processes.

There are similarities and differences between the CGJ complaint process and those of governmental agencies. Here are a few:

  • The County and the City of San Jose investigates all complaints received. The CGJ, with its one-year term, must choose which complaints to investigate.
  • The CGJ investigations typically take a number of months, where governmental agencies might be able to act more quickly on time-sensitive complaints.
  • The CGJ, by law, must maintain strict anonymity. Governmental agencies also endorse anonymous complaints, but there are a few caveats.

The Santa Clara County whistleblower procedures note: “It is not necessary to give your name or contact information, but not doing so may impede further investigation if more specific information is needed. … Please note that if you choose to give your contact information, the Whistleblower Program, upon receipt of your complaint, will take all necessary steps to protect your anonymity to the extent this is possible. … However, the filing of a complaint by a County employee in bad faith may result in the employee being subject to appropriate disciplinary action.”

The City of San Jose whistleblower project notes:  “Release of your identity may be required pursuant to a subpoena or in other circumstances where the City is required by law to release information. In addition, you should also be aware that your public testimony might be needed to prove the case against the accused.”