Honolulu, Hawaii
                                                     , 1999

                                   RE:  S.B. No. 235
                                        S.D. 2

Honorable Norman Mizuguchi
President of the Senate
Twentieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 1999
State of Hawaii


     Your Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred S.B. No.
235, S.D. 1, entitled: 


begs leave to report as follows:

     The purpose of this bill, as received by your Committee, is
to amend the Whistleblower Protection Act by expanding the areas
of protected conduct and the types of reportable violations.

     Your Committee finds that persons who draw attention to
violations of law or of public safety on the part of their
employers are often punished by discrimination ranging from the
subtle to the very direct.  While many people will be discouraged
by the threat of retaliation from coming forward, some will still
come forward to report violations, and may bring suit under the
Act.  Your Committee believes the increased penalties provided in
this bill, and the extension of time within which to file, will
encourage those few whistleblowers who do come forward to make a
claim under the Whistleblower Protection Act.  Your Committee
further notes that this measure clarifies that the common law
remedies for discharges in violation of public policy are not
precluded either by this Act or by the exclusivity provision of
the workers compensation laws.

     Your Committee fears that this measure as written may expand
the Whistleblower Protection Act to the point of providing a road
map for abusive claims under the Act by disgruntled employees who

                                   STAND. COM. REP. NO. 848
                                   Page 2

were never genuine whistleblowers.  It is not your Committee's
intent to expose Hawaii's businesses to a threat of increased
exposure to claims that are not well-founded.  Your Committee
believes that the provisions of this measure expanding the
penalties and the time for filing are important as an incentive
for whistleblowers to seek recourse under the Act, but feels that
the provisions widely expanding the range of situations giving
rise to a whistleblower claim will not encourage whistleblowers
falling within the Act's core coverage to come forward.  Your
Committee further believes that many of the proposed amendments
in this measure would not substantively change the Act, but
instead would simply provide a more verbose description of the
conduct that is currently proscribed for employers.

     Testimony in support of this measure was received from the
American Civil Liberties Union, the ILWU Local 142, the Hawaii
State Teacher's Association, the Hawaii Nurses' Association,
Common Cause Hawaii, and seventeen individuals.  Testimony in
opposition to this measure was received from the Society for
Human Resource Management and the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii.

     Upon further consideration, your Committee has amended this
measure by:

     (1)  Deleting provisions that would explicitly provide
          coverage for violations of a code of ethics;

     (2)  Deleting provisions that would expand coverage to
          reporting of information about fraud, waste, and
          malfeasance by an agency that is not already covered as
          a violation of law;

     (3)  Deleting language adding detail to the description of
          what is proscribed conduct by an employer under the
          current laws;

     (4)  Deleting language that would require as a condition of
          liability that the employer's discriminatory acts be
          taken solely because of anti-whistleblower

     (5)  Deleting language that would specify each type of
          damages obtainable under the Act;

     (6)  Deleting a provision subjecting a state employee who
          violates the Act to disciplinary proceedings; and

     (7)  Making technical, non-substantive changes for the
          purposes of clarity and style.

                                   STAND. COM. REP. NO. 848
                                   Page 3

     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your
Committee on Judiciary that is attached to this report, your
Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No.
235, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third
Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 235, S.D. 2.

                                   Respectfully submitted on
                                   behalf of the members of the
                                   Committee on Judiciary,

                                   AVERY B. CHUMBLEY, Co-Chair

                                   MATTHEW M. MATSUNAGA, Co-Chair