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New York Labor Law Section 740: Amendments Expand Whistleblower Protections

February 22, 2022

On October 28, 2021, Governor Hochul signed Senate Bill S4394A, which significantly amended Section 740 of the New York Labor Law. The legislation expanded whistleblower protections under Section 740 for employees, former employees, and independent contractors. These groups now have greater protection against retaliation from employers if they disclose or threaten to disclose to a supervisor or public body “an activity, policy or practice of the employer that the employee reasonably believes is in violation of law, rule or regulation or that the employee reasonably believes poses a substantial and specific danger to the public health or safety.” An employee is also protected from retaliation if they provide information to or testify before a public body conducting an investigation, hearing or inquiry into any such activity, policy or practice by the employer, or if they object or refuse to participate in any such activity, policy or practice. The amended law recently went into effect on January 26, 2022. Employers should be aware that the amended law requires employers to post a notice regarding employees’ protections, rights and obligations under Section 740; employers should post this notice immediately.

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