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.