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New York Whistleblower Laws

In general, we can all pretty much agree that it is in society’s best interests that safety, financial, environmental, and legal regulations be followed. To encourage employees to come forward and report violations on the part of their employers, the federal and state governments have enacted whistleblower laws to protect employees from being retaliated against. For instance, an employee who is fired after reporting that her company illegally dumps waste into the local river could file a whistleblower lawsuit against her employer.

In New York, whistleblower laws protect both public and private employees. Many states only protect public employees. IN addition, New York's laws also charge instances of retaliation as crimes.

The following table highlights the basics of New York whistleblower laws. See Whistleblower Protections to learn more.

Code Section

Labor §740

Prohibited Employer Activity

Cannot discharge, suspend, demote or take other adverse employment action if employee discloses or threatens to, provides information or testifies, or objects to or refuses to participate in an action that violates law, rule, or regulation or presents a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety

Protection for Public or Private Employees?


Opportunity for Employer to Correct?

Must first report violation to supervisor and allow a reasonable opportunity to correct


Can file a civil action within one year of incident to get an injunction, reinstatement, full fringe benefits and seniority rights, back pay, and reasonable attorney's and court costs



Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a New York attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

More Information

For more information on New York’s laws relating to whistleblowers, take a look at the links listed below. Or if you’d like to compare New York’s whistleblower laws to other states’ laws, you may find FindLaw’s article, Details on State Whistleblower Laws, to be a helpful resource. If you’re looking for more general information on this area of law, check out FindLaw’s informational section on whistleblowers. Finally, if you have been retaliated against by an employer, or you plan on reporting a violation, you may want to consult with an employment lawyer to ensure your rights are protected.

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