Does Hawaii Protect Whistleblowers?

Hawaii got top marks for its whistleblower protections laws in the State Integrity Investigation.

But in practice, the national examination of state transparency and corruption laws found they're not effective.

Hawaii got a 75 percent score on this question, brought down because of a low score of 25 percent on the question of whether whistleblowers are protected from recrimination in practice.

However Hawaii's score on this question was still higher than its overall D, or 66 percent, grade for State Civil Service Management.

Hawaii was in the middle of the pack for State Civil Service Management, ranking 26th. New Jersey came first and George placed last.

The State Integrity Investigation asked three questions to determine each state's score on whistleblower laws. While it got 100 percent on two of them, it failed badly when it came to whether in practice whistleblowers are protected.

Overall, the State Integrity Investigation ranked Hawaii 10th after Civil Beat reporters researched 330 “Corruption Risk Indicators” across 14 categories of government. (Click here to learn more about the methodology used for the project.)

Bottom line: This is another case where Hawaii has good laws, but there's a gap between law and practice.

Here's the basis for the 75-percent grade that contributed to the overall 66 percent score for State Civil Service Management. It's your turn to evaluate whether Civil Beat got it right and to share what you think should be done to improve the situation. Share your comments at the bottom of this story.

Here's the sixth question the State Integrity Investigation asked regarding State Civil Service Management.

Are state employees protected from recrimination or other negative consequences when reporting corruption (i.e. whistle-blowing)?

Overall score: 75%

Here are the criteria Civil Beat used to answer that question and what Civil Beat found.

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