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New York’s Expanded Whistleblower Protections and Notice Requirements Take Effect January 26, 2022

On January 26, 2022, legislation (“Amendments”) amending and significantly expanding the scope of New York’s whistleblower laws will take effect.

As our previous Insight explained in more detail, the Amendments make it much easier for individuals to bring a retaliation claim under New York Labor Law § 740 (“Section 740”) and increase coverage for workers who allege that they have been retaliated against for reporting suspected employer wrongdoing to include former employees and independent contractors.

Additions to Section 740, as well as Labor Law § 741, which applies to whistleblowing in the context of health care employment, include new notice posting requirements. The Amendments require that employers inform workers (including independent contractors) of their protections, rights, and obligations under the Labor Law by conspicuously posting a notice in an easily accessible and well-lighted place customarily frequented by employees and applicants for employment. As of the date of publication, the New York State Department of Labor (“NYSDOL”) has not released a model notice. For technical compliance, employers may wish to post a copy or summary of the amended Section 740 (and Section 741, if applicable), but we expect a poster from the NYSDOL to be issued soon.

New York employers should review any whistleblower policies and complaint procedures for compliance, consider training managers on the Amendments, e.g., as to what constitutes “protected activity” and “adverse action,” and comply with notice posting requirements under Sections 740 (applicable to employers in general) and 741 (specific to healthcare workplaces) as soon as model notices become available.