For Employees

The Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblower Protection) Act covers more than 185,000 Alberta employees within the following categories:

  • Provincial government departments;
  • Offices of the Alberta Legislature;
  • Provincial agencies, boards, commissions and Crown corporations with employees;
  • Public sector health organizations, including Alberta Health Services and Covenant Health, and Calgary Lab Services;
  • Post-secondary institutions;
  • School boards, charter schools, and accredited private schools that receive public funding.

What is a wrongdoing?

Wrongdoing is defined as:

  • a contravention of an Act, a regulation made pursuant to an Act, an Act of the Parliament of Canada, or a regulation made pursuant to an Act of the Parliament of Canada;
  • an act or omission that creates an imminent risk to the health and safety of individuals, or a specific threat to the environment;
  • gross mismanagement of public funds or a public asset; or
  • knowingly counselling an individual to commit a wrongdoing mentioned above.

 

What is a reprisal?

Reprisals can take many forms, and may include:

  • A dismissal, layoff, suspension, demotion or transfer, discontinuation or elimination of a job, change of work location, reduction in wages, changes in hours of work or a reprimand;
  • Any measure that adversely affects the employee; or
  • A threat to make any of the previously mentioned actions.

 

HOW AM I PROTECTED?

Employees are protected from reprisal under the Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblower Protection) Act when they make a disclosure of wrongdoing, participate in the investigation of a disclosure, or who refuse to participate in a wrongdoing.  The Act also protects employees who seek advice from the Public Interest Commissioner, or their workplace’s designated officer.

The Act gives employees a clear process for voicing concerns about significant and serious wrongdoing, and provides protection from reprisal, including:

  • Confidentiality
  • Anonymity
  • A legislated process for reporting and investigating wrongdoing
  • Strict penalties for those who commit a reprisal

The Act is not intended to deal with routine operational or human resource matters. Employees should follow their organization’s existing procedures to deal with those concerns.

 

How Do I Make A COMPLAINT?

Employees can report a wrongdoing through their designated officer, or through the Public Interest Commissioner.  If you choose to report directly to the Public Interest Commissioner, you can do so by filling out the complaint form.

If you feel you have been the subject of a reprisal and wish to make a complaint, you may contact the Public Interest Commissioner’s office or submit an online complaint form.

 

SEEKING ADVICE

Employees can generally recognize when something is wrong.  Deciding what to do next is sometimes challenging.  As a first step, we encourage you to speak confidentially with one of our investigators.

 

 

NEED MORE INFORMATION?

If you have any questions or need advice, contact the office of the Public Interest Commissioner directly at:

Toll-free (North America): 1-855-641-8659
Calgary: 403-592-3106
Edmonton: 780-641-8659
Or via email at info@pic.alberta.ca