Laboratory Services Act

Overview

The Laboratory Services Act (SBC 2014, c. 8) protects employees who disclosed an actual or foreseen contravention to the Act to the Minister of Health. Any reprisal taken against an employee is an offence, subject to a fine or imprisonment.

What kind of disclosure is protected?

The Act protects any employee who, while acting in good faith and on the basis of reasonable belief, has disclosed information to the Minister regarding a contravention or possible contravention of the Act. The Act also protects employees who do anything that is required to be done in order to avoid having any person contravene this Act s.38(b), or who have refused to do or stated an intention of refusing to do anything that is in contravention of this Act s.38(c)

The Act does not define “wrongdoing” or “protected disclosure” or “employee.”

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 wrongdoing.

Under the Act, prohibited reprisals s.38 include:

  • taking a disciplinary measure against the employee;
  • demoting the employee;
  • suspending the employee;
  • terminating the employment of the employee; or
  • taking any measure that adversely affects the employment or working conditions of the employee.

Any person who knowingly takes a reprisal against an employee for making a protected disclosure is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $200 000, imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months, or both s.65.

How should disclosures be made?

Be careful! Despite presenting some challenges for follow ups, one of the best protections for whistleblowers is their anonymity. Be cautious when providing any information through electronic means, especially emails! Read the security tips section.

An individual seeking more information on the disclosure process may contact the general Department of Health at hlth.health@gov.bc.ca