A new state law significantly increases the penalties against employers that retaliate against whistle-blowers—by 1000%.
Passed by the New York State Assembly last summer and enacted at the end of 2009, the new law sets the minimum fine for whistle-blower retaliation at $2,000, up from $200 under the old law. Similarly, the top fine has been raised from $1,000 to $10,000.
Employers can run afoul of the new law if they retaliate against an employee or applicant who reports a labor code violation or participates in a Department of Labor investigation.
In a statement, the department noted that retaliation cases of all kinds are on the rise. It said it collected $24.6 million in retaliation fines in 2008, dispersing the awards to some 17,000 workers.
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