New York’s general “whistleblower” statute – New York Labor Law 740 – is, in its current form – extremely narrow.
However, recent amendments to the statute have passed the Assembly and Senate to broaden its terms.
The proposed amendments include (THESE WORDS added; [bracketed words] deleted):
2. Prohibitions. An employer shall not take any retaliatory [person-nel] action against an employee, WHETHER OR NOT WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THE EMPLOYEE’S JOB DUTIES, because such employee does any of the following:
(a) discloses, or threatens to disclose to a supervisor or to a public body an activity, policy or practice of the employer that THE EMPLOYEE REASONABLY BELIEVES is in violation of law, rule or regulation [which violation creates and presents] OR THAT THE EMPLOYEE REASONABLY BELIEVES POSES a substantial and specific danger to the public health or safety[, or which constitutes health care fraud] …
The added language, in effect, would broaden the category of “protected activity” (regarding the alleged legal violation complained of) that may give rise to a retaliation claim under the statute.