Whistleblower Ordinance

In September 2008, the Oakland City Council passed the Whistleblower Protection Ordinance - sponsored by City Auditor Courtney Ruby, Councilmember Ignacio De La Fuente and Councilmember Pat Kernighan.

View the Whistleblower Ordinance

View the Agenda Report


Oakland Municipal Code 2.38.040 - Retaliation prohibited

"No officer or employee of the City of Oakland shall use or threaten to use any official authority or influence to restrain or prevent any other person who is acting in good faith and upon reasonable belief as a whistleblower."

"No officer or employee of the City of Oakland shall use or threaten to use any official authority or influence to cause any adverse employment action as a reprisal against a City officer or employee who acts as a whistleblower in good faith and with reasonable belief that improper conduct has occurred."

How to Submit a Retaliation Complaint

A complaint alleging retaliation must be submitted in writing to the City Auditor within 180 days of the occurrence of the alleged retaliation.  The complaint must contain the following mandatory information:

  • Name of the complainant;
  • Contact information, including address, telephone and e-mail address, if applicable;
  • Name of the person directly responsible for the alleged retaliation;
  • Date and place of the alleged retaliation;
  • Nature of the alleged retaliation;
  • Detailed description of the specific conduct that is alleged to constitute retaliation;
  • Copies of documents pertaining to the alleged retaliation;
  • Names of any witnesses to the alleged retaliation;
  • Corrective action requested by the complainant;
  • Complainant's signature and date of filing; and
  • Any other relevant information.

The following communications do not constitute a retaliation complaint and will not be investigated or resolved pursuant to the retaliation complaint resolution process:

  • Oral allegations;
  • Anonymous communications;
  • Courtesy copies of correspondence or a complaint filed with others;
  • Inquiries that seek advice or information only; and
  • Pre-complaint consultations and informal resolution activities.