What kind of disclosure is protected?
The Act protects any person who, while acting in good faith and on the basis of reasonable belief, has disclosed information about a contravention, or possible contravention, of the Act s.22(a)(i) to an administrator, the Minister of Health or the Information and Privacy Commissioner.
Under the Act, a contravention s.22(a)(ii) may include the collection, use or disclosure of personal health information or information related to a health service provider in a manner that contravenes the terms or conditions of a designation order.
Who is eligible for protection?
The Act protects public or private sector employees, including a volunteer or a person retained under a contract to perform services in relation to a health body, who have disclosed information to an administrator, the Minister of Health or the Information and Privacy Commissioner regarding a contravention to this Act s.1.
Under the Act, an administrator s.1 means:
- in the case of a health information bank in the custody or under the control of the ministry of the minister, or a ministry database, the chief data steward, and
- in the case of a health information bank in the custody or under the control of a health care body other than the ministry of the minister, a person authorized to administer the health information bank
How are whistleblowers protected?
The Act prohibits any person from taking any kind of reprisal against an employee who has made a disclosure regarding a contravention of this Act 22(a)(i)-(ii), have followed the law as prescribed by the Act s.22(b), or have refused to do anything in contravention of the Act s.22(c).
Under the Act, a reprisal s.22 includes disciplinary measures, demotion, suspension, termination of employment or any measures that adversely affect the employment or working conditions of the employee.
If an employee has made a protected disclosure, any person who takes any kind of reprisal against them is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of up to $200 000 s.24(1)(d).
How should disclosures be made?
A public or private sector employee may make a disclosure of wrongdoing by contacting an Administrator, the Minister of Health, or the Information and Privacy Commissioner.
In order to file a complaint to a public body the form can be found here, in order to file a complaint to a private organization the form is here. The forms can be emailed to email@example.com, faxed to (250) 387-1696, or mailed to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner:
P.O. Box 9038, Stn. Prov. Govt.
Victoria, B.C. V8W 9A4
Not all claims will be investigated. If an employee’s complaint is declined, they will receive a letter explaining why it is not being investigated. If the complaint is accepted, they will receive a notification letter to this effect.
More information on the process of making a disclosure can be found here: https://www.oipc.bc.ca/for-the-public/how-do-i-make-a-complaint/.