Assemblymember Phil Steck (D-Colonie) announced that his legislation to eliminate a penalty for whistleblowers passed the Assembly (A.2565). The bill has passed unanimously in the Assembly for two consecutive years, but has not been taken up in the Senate.
“Under New York State law, whistleblowers have a major disincentive to bring forth additional claims, such as discrimination, harassment or other unlawful acts, against the entity they are exposing because those claims are subject to dismissal because of the whistleblowing claim,” said Steck. “Nobody should be held back from exposing corruption, especially in government. Our law discourages people from coming forward with information that the public deserves to know.”
Steck’s legislation eliminates a provision of the law that prevents whistleblowers from making more than one claim against the entity, diminishing the rights of the claimant. The law does not prevent others from filing multiple claims.
“There have been countless examples of individuals who have stood up to do the right thing and expose corrupt behavior of people in power,” added Steck. “It takes courage to stand up to power and shine a light on injustices being perpetrated, and everyone who does so deserves to know that their rights are being protected.”