PIDA is B.C.’s public sector employee whistleblower protection legislation. Learn how it protects all current and former Fraser Health staff and medical staff.
Effective June 1, 2023, the Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA) will apply to all B.C. health authorities. PIDA provides mechanisms for investigating allegations of serious or systemic wrongdoing and for addressing any such wrongdoing that may be found. PIDA also provides legal protection from reprisal for staff and medical staff who speak up about wrongdoing while also protecting their identity.
Learn more about PIDA.
Definition of wrongdoing under PIDA
Not all misconduct is “wrongdoing” under PIDA. PIDA specifically defines wrongdoing as:
- A serious act or omission that, if proven, would constitute an offence under an enactment of B.C. or Canada;
- An act or omission that creates a substantial and specific danger to the life, health, or safety of persons or to the environment, other than a danger that is inherent in the performance of an employee's duties or functions;
- A serious misuse of public funds or public assets;
- Gross or systemic mismanagement (i.e., mismanagement of funding, services, or people in a way that is highly inappropriate, irresponsible or reckless, or mismanagement that is broad, longstanding, recurrent or inherent to a public sector organization’s culture and practices); or
- Knowingly directing or counselling a person to commit any of the wrongdoing described above, whether or not the person commits the act or omission.
You can report wrongdoing that has happened in the past, is currently taking place or is about to happen. (Former employees can only report wrongdoing that they discovered, or that occurred, while they were employed).
You can (and should) report wrongdoing even if you are not sure that it meets the definition of wrongdoing under PIDA. There is no penalty if a report does not qualify as wrongdoing.
How to get advice about PIDA or report a wrongdoing
If you want confidential advice relating to PIDA or wish to make a report of wrongdoing under PIDA, you can contact any of the following:
- Your leader/supervisor
- Your health authority’s designated officer (see Contact section below);
- The B.C. Ombudsperson.
You can also seek advice from your union or employee representative association or your own lawyer (at your own expense).
You can request advice or make a report anonymously if you wish.
Reports of wrongdoing must be in writing and can be submitted confidentially using your health authority’s online reporting form. Alternatively, you can contact your leader/supervisor or your health authority’s designated officer to make a report of wrongdoing, or contact the B.C. Ombudsperson.
The wrongdoing reporting mechanisms under PIDA are in addition to existing options that are available in the health authority to report misconduct (e.g., Whistleblower/Safe Reporting, Respectful Workplace, etc.). Therefore, it is your choice which reporting mechanism you wish to use. Of note, PIDA expressly imposes legal requirements to protect the identity of employees, as well as prohibit any reprisal consequences.
How PIDA protects you
PIDA protects your identity if you report wrongdoing, make a reprisal complaint, or ask for advice about reporting wrongdoing or making a reprisal complaint. PIDA also protects you from reprisal, including threats of reprisal, as a result of doing any of those things. Reprisal can include demotion, disciplinary measures, termination of employment, or any measure that adversely affects your employment or working conditions.
What happens after making a PIDA report
If you make a report of wrongdoing internally, the designated officer will determine if the report meets the criteria under PIDA for investigation. If you have chosen to disclose your identity, you may be asked for further details about your report. If the designated officer determines that the report meets the PIDA criteria, an investigation will be conducted and at the conclusion of such investigation, you will be provided with a summary of the outcome of the investigation.
What to do if you experience reprisal as a result of asking for advice or making a report under PIDA
You should contact the B.C. Ombudsperson. Only the B.C. Ombudsperson can investigate reprisal complaints under PIDA. Reprisal complaints must be in writing and can be made using the B.C. Ombudsperson’s online Reprisal Complaint Form. Alternatively, please contact the B.C. Ombudsperson (email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: 1-800-567-3247).