Client Alert - EMPLOYEE ‘WHISTLEBLOWER’ PROTECTIONS EXPANDED - Effective Today – 1.26.2022


By and

Effective today, protections for New York employees who become “whistleblowers” strengthen significantly. Equally important, the new law expands who is covered by Labor Law 740. The law also requires that employers POST NOTICE OF THESE NEW RIGHTS TODAY and update their policies.

As for WHO is covered: The old law covered current employees only. Now, the law covers former employees, and independent contractors as well.

As for WHAT is covered: The old law only protected employees who reported actual violations of a law that posed a “substantial and specific danger to public health or safety”. Now, the law protects employees who have a “reasonable belief” that there is a violation.

On the technical front, the law increases the statute of limitation from 1 to 2 years and changes the penalties available to employees whose rights are violated. Under the old law, whistleblowers who were wrongfully terminated could be awarded reinstatement to their position, back wages, and attorneys’ fees. Now, aggrieved employees will be entitled to all of these remedies plus punitive damages, and front pay. The employer may be further liable for penalties up to $10,000.

Please let us know if we can help with your compliance.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Sharon P. Stiller, Esq.

160 Linden Oaks, Suite E

Rochester, New York 14625

585.218.9999

sstiller@abramslaw.com

Rachel Demarest Gold, Esq.

3 Dakota Drive, Suite 300

Lake Success, New York 11042

516.328.2300

rgold@abramslaw.com

Justin T. Kelton, Esq.

1 MetroTech Center, Suite 1701

Brooklyn, New York 11201

718.215.5300

jkelton@abramslaw.com

Maureen T. Bass Esq.

160 Linden Oaks, Suite E

Rochester, New York 14625

585.218.9999

mbass@abramslaw.com

Joanna M. Topping, Esq.

81 Main Street, Suite 400

White Plains, New York 10601

914.607.7010

jtopping@abramslaw.com

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