MONTPELIER (AP) - The union representing Vermont state workers is hailing Gov. Peter Shumlin signing a whistleblower protection bill into law. But a Vermont State Employees' Association official says it may not protect whistleblowers in all instances.

VSEA spokesman Doug Gibson points to the case of John Howe, a union activist who received an excellent rating and a $500 bonus on his last employment review, but now is under investigation by the Department of Human Resources.

Gibson and Howe say the change came after Howe began pointing out what he saw as waste, poor management practices and corruption in the state Vocational Rehabilitation division, where he works.

Shumlin administration officials deny any retaliation.

Gibson says he hopes that the anonymity promised in the new law will encourage more employees to speak out.