NYC Whistleblower Lawyer
Protecting Employees Who Expose Criminal Activity or Misconduct in the Workplace
While the decision to step forward and blow the whistle is sometimes a hard one and can be a scary proposition for some, those who are contemplating blowing the whistle or have already blown the whistle can take comfort in knowing that there are an array of laws that protect the rights of bona fide whistleblowers. If you are contemplating blowing the whistle or have been subject to unlawful retaliation in response to blowing the whistle, contact our NYC whistleblower lawyers immediately so we can help you understand and protect your rights.
What is a Whistleblower?
A whistleblower is someone who reports to an employer, a regulatory body, or an oversight or review authority, the violation of a regulation, standard, or ethical obligation. Employers might not want to hear from their workers about potentially damaging information, and they might especially resent it if their employees take their information directly to an outside source. Fortunately, dozens of laws exist that encourage employees to speak out when they know of corporate wrongdoing or fraud. These laws might even provide monetary incentives for blowing the whistle while at the same time offering strong legal protections against retaliation, wrongful termination or other unfair treatment in the workplace.
New York’s Whistleblower Law Protects Public Health and Safety
New York Labor Law sections 740 and 741 provide whistleblower protection to nurses and other health care workers who report health care fraud or any employees who shine the light on legal violations that pose a danger to public health or safety. Health care workers who report what they see as improper quality of care are protected from discharge or other adverse employment actions, so long as their belief was reasonable and in good faith. Other whistleblowers are protected for reporting a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety, so long as they first tell a supervisor and give the employer an opportunity to correct the situation. Non-health care workers are not protected if they were mistaken in their belief, even if it was reasonable and in good faith.
New York’s Retaliation Law Protects Workers Who Report Violations of New York Labor Laws
New York Labor Law section 215 protects workers from retaliation for reporting violations of New York labor laws. Employers may not discharge, threaten, penalize, discriminate or retaliate against employees who complain to their employer, the Attorney General or any person that the employer engaged in conduct the employee reasonably and in good faith believed violated New York labor law.
This law allows the employee to file a civil action against the employer for unlawful retaliation. If successful, the employee can be rehired with back pay or receive front pay in lieu of reinstatement. The employee can also recover up to $20,000 in liquidated damages, as well as attorney’s fees.
Other New York Whistleblower Protection Laws
Other laws protect workers in other fields who blow the whistle on violations in their industry. Public employees are protected for reporting a threat to public health and safety or improper government action. Construction workers can safely report a violation of the Fair Play Act. Nursing home workers can report violations with impunity, and school employees who report improper or illegal financial conduct are protected from retaliation. Other workers can confidently blow the whistle on violation of toxic substance laws, and all employees are protected from retaliation for testifying about workplace safety connected to a workers’ compensation claim.
Don’t Let Your Employer Violate Your Rights as a Whistleblower in New York City
Whistleblower protection is available in one form or another to all New York workers, even at-will employees. If your rights as a whistleblower in New York City have been violated, call Mansell Law at 646-921-8900 for a free consultation with an experienced and dedicated New York employment lawyer.