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Oregon lawmaker wants to expand whistleblower protections

The inspiration for the bill was an ODOT employee who was fired for voicing safety concerns.

Posted: Jan 29, 2018 2:29 PM
Updated: Jan 29, 2018 7:22 PM

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - An Oregon lawmaker has introduced a bill to expand whistleblower protections in the state.

The Statesman Journal reports Republican State Senator Jackie Winters says former Oregon Department of Transportation employee Gerritt Law inspired the bill.

Law informed his superiors about problems he found after taking the job in 2013. He then was fired.

Law's concerns included employees' lack of safety training in dangerous conditions, and costly equipment being purchased without compatibility testing and not working.

Law's complaints eventually triggered investigations that confirmed many of his concerns. But they also led to his firing. The state settled Law's retaliation lawsuit for $95,000.

Winters says Law's story made her think about how important it is to ensure public employees are free to raise concerns without fear of retaliation.

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