September 26, 2019

Controversy surrounds a whistle blower complaint reported to have been filed by a federal employee


New York State's §75-b of the State's Civil Service Law bars a public employer's taking “adverse personnel actions” against a public employee if the employee reports what he reasonably believe to be a violation of a law, rule, or regulation by his public employer to a governmental body.* However to come within the ambit of  §75-b, the employee must:

[a] Initially provide the information concerning the alleged violation to his appointing authority or the appointing authority's designee,** or have made a “good faith effort” to do so;

[b] Allow a “reasonable period of time" for the appointing authority to take appropriate action unless there is an imminent and serious danger to public health or safety; and

[c] In the event such an "imminent and serious danger" situation exists, the individual must report the alleged violation to a “governmental body".

Links to whistle blower cases posted in NYPPL












Whistle blowing – complaint of retaliation


* Labor Law Article 20-c, Retaliatory Action By Employers, provides similar protections to employees in the private sector. See, also, New York City’s Administrative Code §12-113.

** The general rule is that an individual is not required to exhaust the available administrative remedy where such action would constitute an exercise in futility. Typically the courts apply this exception in situations where it determines that the administrative decision "is a foregone conclusion." See Gaffney v Addison, 132 AD3d 1360.

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