Whistleblower retaliation is perhaps one of the most misunderstood employment law claims in New York. Many employees believe a broad whistleblower law protects a variety of employee conduct and that when employees complain about any number of workplace issues, they are automatically protected against retaliation by the employer.
In fact, New York’s whistleblower law is remarkably narrow. The New York employment lawyers at Famighetti & Weinick PLLC have previously blogged about the limitations of New York’s whisteblower statute, codified as New York Labor Law 740. But, on January 22, 2022, the law is set to expand. Today’s Long Island employment law blog explains the changes coming to New York’s whistleblower law.
Under the existing New York whistleblower law, workers in New York were protected against retaliation by employers when employees engaged in certain protected acts. To invoke the protections of the act, employees had to have disclosed an illegal activity of the employer. Further, it was not enough that the employer just engaged in unlawful activity. The violation must have threatened the health or safety of the public or constitute healthcare fraud. In other words, the law’s coverage was remarkably limited.