Employees who witness an employers’ illegal conduct in the workplace should stand up and report such claims to the appropriate authority. The laws for whistleblowers were enacted specifically to encourage the strong-willed employees to stand up and bring to light the illegal conduct of their employees. Employees are encouraged to protect the public by bringing forth such claims and are protected from retaliation by the employer. Our New York City employment attorneys protect the rights of employees who stand up and witness illegal conduct by their employees and are “blowing the whistle” to put an end to the illegal activity. Contact the Emre Polat Employment Attorneys to protect your rights in any matter in which you have complained to your employer about illegal activity or are considering in making such a claim.
New York State Whistleblower Protection
Public Sector Employees
N.Y. Civ. Serv. Law § 75- only applies to public employees. The law protects an employee from retaliation for disclosing to a government body information, which the employee reasonably believes to be true and improper governmental action, regarding a violation of law, rule or regulation which creates a substantial and specific danger to public health and safety.
Private Sector Employees
Under N.Y. Labor Law § 740, employees in the private sector are also protected for whistleblower claims. This law applies to all employees and is specifically enacted to protect an employee from retaliation for a variety of activities related the reporting of a specific danger to public health or safety that violates any law, or health care fraud.
Moreover, under N.Y. Labor Law § 741 any individual who performs health care services for and under the control and direction of any employer who provides health care services is protected from retaliation for a variety of activities related to the reporting of conduct that the employee in good faith reasonably believes constitutes improper quality of patient care, or that violates any law, rule, regulation relating to matters which may present a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety or a significant threat to the health of a specific patient.
Employees who are aware of such illegal actions by their employer should bring those claims forward as they are protected under the law. Contact the attorneys at the Emre Polat Employment Attorneys to ensure that your rights are protected if you wish to protect the public and bring an employers’ illegal conduct to light.
New Jersey Whistleblower Protection Under the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA)
New Jersey has one of the strongest laws protecting employees from retaliation for disclosing or objecting to an employer’s actions which the employee reasonably believes is illegal or a violation of public policy. The New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act, N.J.S.A. §§ 34:19-1 – 34:19-8 (CEPA) specifically prohibits all public and private employers from retaliating against employees who disclose, object to, or refuse to participate in certain actions that the employees reasonably believe are either illegal or in violation of public policy.
CEPA bars employers from retaliating against an employee where the employee 1) discloses, or threatens to disclose to a supervisor or to a public body an activity, policy or practice of the employer, or another employer, with whom there is a business relationship, that the employee reasonably believes (a) is in violation of a law, or a rule or regulation promulgated pursuant to law or, in the case of an employee who is a licensed or certified health care professional, that the employee reasonably believes constitutes improper quality of patient care, or (b) is fraudulent or criminal; (2) provides information to, or testifies before, any public body conducting an investigation, hearing or inquiry into any violation of law, or a rule or regulation promulgated pursuant to law by the employer, or another employer, with whom there is a business relationship; or (3) objects to, or refuses to participate in any activity, policy or practice which the employee reasonably believes (a) is in violation of a law, or a rule or regulation promulgated pursuant to law, (b) is fraudulent or criminal, or (c) is incompatible with a clear mandate of public policy concerning the public health, safety or welfare or protection of the environment. N.J.S.A. §§ 34:19-3, 34:19-3(a), 34:19-3(b), 34:19-3(c).
Employees are often reluctant to bring forward such claims in fear of retaliation. However, NJ CEPA provides protection to employees and punishes the employer from taking adverse employment action or retaliating against an employee. An employee is permitted to privately sue their employer in court and to seek damages including monetary relief, an injunction, reinstatement, emotional distress, punitive damages, and all reasonable attorney’s fees. Contact the employment law firm at the Emre Polat Employment Attorneys should you have any questions or seek a consultation regarding any whistleblowing activity.
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