The New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) has issued a form of required notice regarding the dramatically expanded whistleblower protections under New York Labor Law § 740 that took effect last month.
As we previously reported, the expanded law – which took effect on January 26, 2022 – significantly bolsters protections for private-sector workers alleging retaliation in a variety of ways, including: (1) adding “former employees” and “independent contractors” to those permitted to bring whistleblower claims; (2) removing the previous requirement that there be an actual violation of the law and instead providing protections where a covered individual reasonably believes an employer’s activity or conduct is in violation of a law, rule or regulation or “poses a substantial and specific danger to the public health or safety;” and (3) providing that covered individuals need only make a “good faith effort” to notify their employer of violations before disclosing such violations to a public body, whereas before actual notice to the employer was required. The amended law also expands the remedies potentially available to whistleblowers, extends the statute of limitations on bringing claims, and affords whistleblowers a right to a jury trial.
The amended law requires that employers notify employees of their rights under the law by posting a notice in a conspicuous, accessible and well-lighted place. While the law took effect with no model having been issued, the NYSDOL finally released its form of notice on its website, which all covered employers are advised to post immediately in accordance with the law.