Presently, New York’s whistleblower protection statute, New York Labor Law Section 740, protects an employee’s disclosure to a supervisor or public body of activities, policies or practices that present “a substantial and specific danger to the public health or safety.” On January 10, 2011, a bill (S1641) to expand this protection was introduced in the Senate and referred to the Senate Labor Committee for review. If passed, the whistleblower protection law would protect an employee’s disclosure to a supervisor or public body of all activities, policies, or practices of an employer that violate the law, irrespective of whether they present a substantial and specific danger to the public health or safety.

Another bill (S1517) introduced on January 10, 2011, and referred to the Senate Labor Committee, offers various other protections to whistleblowers under Section 740. These protections include: 1) protecting employees from retaliatory action for disclosure of employer activity that the employee “reasonably believes evinces abuse of authority, mismanagement or waste of public assets or monies or is a threat to the environment and such violation is a substantial and specific danger to the public health, safety or general welfare or which constitutes insurance fraud or financial fraud”; 2) extending the statute of limitations from one to two years for bringing a civil action for retaliatory action by an employer; and 3) requiring employers to post a notice informing their employees of their rights under this section.


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