New York Department of Labor Issues Required Notice for Expanded Whistleblower Protection Law

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The New York State Department of Labor (“NYDOL”) issued a form of required notice that New York employers must post to comply with the State’s recently amended whistleblower protection law.  As we previously reported, the amendments to Section 140 of the New York Labor Law (“NYLL”), which prohibit retaliation by employers against whistleblowers, became effective January 26, 2022.

In brief, these amendments expanded the scope of protected activity in two ways: (1) an employee no longer must report conduct that “is in violation” of a law, rule, or regulation and need only disclose what they “reasonably believe” to be a violation of law, rule, or regulation to receive whistleblower protection and (2) the alleged violation does not need to pose “a substantial and specific danger to the public health or safety” or concern healthcare fraud to be protected.  The amendments added former employees and independent contractors to the term “employee,” thereby allowing those individuals to bring whistleblower claims.  Additionally, the amendments expanded the various remedies available to whistleblowers and increased the statute of limitations for such claims from 1 to 2 years from the date of the alleged retaliatory action.

The NYDOL has now issued a form of required notice for employers to comply with this amended law.   Employers must post this notice of employees’ rights under the new law in a conspicuous, well-lighted, and easily accessible location that is customarily frequented by employees and applicants for employment.  We recommend that New York employers post this notice immediately.

As the law continues to evolve on these matters, please note that this article is current as of date and time of publication and may not reflect subsequent developments. The content and interpretation of the issues addressed herein is subject to change. Cole Schotz P.C. disclaims any and all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this publication to the fullest extent permitted by law. This is for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Do not act or refrain from acting upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining legal, financial and tax advice. For further information, please do not hesitate to reach out to your firm contact or to any of the attorneys listed in this publication.

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