2019 Mississippi Code
Title 25 - Public Officers and Employees; Public Records
Chapter 9 - Statewide Personnel System
Protection of Public Employee From Reprisal for Giving Information to Investigative Body or Agency
§ 25-9-171. Definitions

Universal Citation: MS Code § 25-9-171 (2019)
  • For purposes of Sections 25-9-171 through 25-9-177, the following terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them herein:
    • (a) “Abuse” means acting in an arbitrary and capricious manner that adversely affects the accomplishment of a function of any governmental entity.

    • (b) “Governmental entity” means a board, commission, department, office or other agency of the state or a political subdivision of the state.

    • (c) “Employee” means any individual employed or holding office in any department or agency of state or local government.

    • (d) “Improper governmental action” means any action by an employee which is undertaken in the performance of the employee’s official duties, whether or not the action is within the scope of the employee’s employment:

      • (i) Which is in violation of any federal or state law or regulation, is an abuse of authority, results in substantial abuse, misuse, destruction, waste, or loss of public funds or public resources; or

      • (ii) Which is of substantial and specific danger to the public health or safety; or

      • (iii) Which is discrimination based on race or gender.

      “Improper governmental action” does not include personnel actions for which other remedies exist, including, but not limited to, employee grievances, complaints, appointments, promotions, transfers, assignments, reassignments, reinstatements, restorations, reemployments, performance evaluations, reductions in pay, dismissals, suspensions, demotions, violations of the state personnel system or local personnel policies, alleged labor agreement violations, reprimands, claims of discriminatory treatment, or any personnel action which may be taken under federal or state law.
    • (e) “Misuse” means an illegal or unauthorized use.

    • (f) “Personnel action” means an action that affects an employee’s promotion, demotion, transfer, work assignment or performance evaluation.

    • (g) “State investigative body” shall mean the Attorney General of the State of Mississippi, the State Auditor, the Mississippi Ethics Commission, the Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review or any other standing committee of the Legislature, or any district attorney of the State of Mississippi.

    • (h) “Use of official authority or influence” includes taking, directing others to take, recommending, processing or approving any personnel action such as an appointment, promotion, transfer, assignment, reassignment, reinstatement, restoration, reemployment, performance evaluation or other disciplinary action.

    • (i) “Waste” means an unnecessary or unreasonable expenditure or use.

    • (j) “Whistleblower” means an employee who in good faith reports an alleged improper governmental action to a state investigative body, initiating an investigation. For purposes of the provisions of Sections 25-9-171 through 25-9-177, the term “whistleblower” also means an employee who in good faith provides information to a state investigative body, or an employee who is believed to have reported alleged improper governmental action to a state investigative body or to have provided information to a state investigative body but who, in fact, has not reported such action or provided such information.

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