As used in this chapter:
"Abuse" means an employer's or employee's conduct or omissions that result in substantial misuse, destruction, waste, or loss of funds or resources belonging to or derived from federal, state, or local government sources.
"Appropriate authority" means a federal, state, or local agency or organization having jurisdiction over criminal law enforcement, regulatory violations, professional conduct or ethics, or abuse; or a member, officer, agent, representative, or supervisory employee of the agency or organization. The term also includes the Office of the Attorney General, the Office of the State Inspector General, and the General Assembly and its committees having the power and duty to investigate criminal law enforcement, regulatory violations, professional conduct or ethics, or abuse.
"Employee" means any person who is regularly employed full time on either a salaried or wage basis, whose tenure is not restricted as to temporary or provisional appointment, in the service of and whose compensation is payable, no more often than biweekly, in whole or in part, by a governmental agency.
"Employer" means a person supervising one or more employees, including the employee filing a good faith report, a superior of that supervisor, or an agent of the governmental agency.
"Good faith report" means a report of conduct defined in this chapter as wrongdoing or abuse that is made without malice and that the person making the report has reasonable cause to believe is true.
"Governmental agency" means (i) any agency, institution, board, bureau, commission, council, or instrumentality of state government in the executive branch listed in the appropriation act and any independent agency; (ii) any county, city, or town or local or regional governmental authority; and (iii) any local school division as defined in § 22.1-280.2:2.
"Misconduct" means conduct or behavior by an employee that is inconsistent with state, local, or agency standards for which specific corrective or disciplinary action is warranted.
"Whistle blower" means an employee who witnesses or has evidence of wrongdoing or abuse and who makes or demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence that he is about to make a good faith report of, or testifies or is about to testify to, the wrongdoing or abuse to one of the employee's superiors, an agent of the employer, or an appropriate authority. "Whistle blower" includes a citizen of the Commonwealth who witnesses or has evidence of wrongdoing or abuse and who makes or demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence that he is about to make a good faith report of, or testifies or is about to testify to, the wrongdoing or abuse to an appropriate authority.
"Wrongdoing" means a violation, which is not of a merely technical or minimal nature, of a federal or state law or regulation, local ordinance, or a formally adopted code of conduct or ethics of a professional organization designed to protect the interests of the public or employee.
2009, c. 340; 2011, cc. 798, 871; 2014, c. 403; 2015, c. 316; 2016, c. 292.