Whistleblower Laws in Illinois

A whistleblower is someone who exposes wrongdoing, fraud, corruption and/or waste.

Taxpayers deserve an honest and efficient government. In 1991, then State Treasurer Pat Quinn, led the movement to enact a state whistleblower protection act.

The Illinois Whistleblower Act protects every citizen -- including state and local government employees -- when they blow the whistle on government corruption.

Our state law rewards citizens who blow the whistle.

In 2008, the Illinois Whistleblower Reward and Protection Act expanded the 1991 law to cover all levels of state government. Since the act was strengthened, a whistleblower can get up to 30% of the amount recovered as a reward upon completion of a successful whistleblower suit.

Read the full text of the Illinois False Claims Act. (Illinois Whistleblower Reward & Protection Act is included therein.)

Tips for successful whistleblowers

  1. Successful whistleblowers need evidence. Be sure to keep records and documentation of corrupt activity.
  2. Don't break any laws yourself. Exposing corruption will not necessarily relieve you of liability. If you are worried about your behavior, seek independent legal advice.
  3. Read your employment contract. Your union or other employment contract may contain whistleblower protections.

How do I file a complaint without fear of punishment, or losing my job?

Your identity as a whistleblower is kept confidential, except in rare circumstances where disclosure is required by law.

If you are a State employee and you . . . .

  • Disclose or threaten to disclose to your supervisor or any public body something you believe is illegal, or
  • Provide information to any public body conducting an investigation into corruption, or
  • Participate in a proceeding to enforce the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act,

A State agency cannot retaliate through a reprimand, discharge, suspension, demotion or denial of promotion or transfer.

If retaliation occurs, remedies can include:

  • Reinstatement;
  • Two times back pay;
  • Interest on back pay; and/or
  • Payment of reasonable costs and attorneys' fees.

Blow the Whistle

If you're a state employee or citizen watchdog, please use the table below to quickly report suspected government corruption.

To blow the whistle about misconduct in…Complete this Form or Call this Number
Offices of the Illinois Governor, or any executive branch State agencies, boards, commisions, public universities or vendors doing business with them OEIG File a Complaint or Request Information Page(866) 814-1113
Offices of the Attorney General Attorney General Complete this Form [PDF](888) 814-4646
Offices of the Secretary of State Secretary of State Complete this Form [PDF] or Online Form(630) 455-4013 or
(217) 785-2012 or
(618) 244-8358
Offices of the Comptroller Comptroller Complete this Form [PDF](217) 558-1601
Offices of the Treasurer Treasurer Complete this Form(312) 814-1698 or
(217) 557-1972