call us646-580-6675

Manhattan Office  |  Westchester Office

Do Civil Service Employees Have Whistleblower Protections in New York?

 Posted on March 19, 2024 in Civil Service Employment and Job Defense

Manhattan Whistleblower Protections LawyerCivil service employees are a vital part of the workforce in the state of New York. They play an important role in ensuring that government operations run smoothly and effectively while also upholding the principles of transparency and accountability. However, when civil service employees witness illegal or unethical behavior by government organizations or their employees, they may be uncertain about how to proceed. 

In some cases, they may worry that they could face retaliation if they speak out and that they could potentially lose their jobs. These are valid concerns, and they highlight the importance of whistleblower protections. In cases where civil service employees face disciplinary actions or termination for blowing the whistle, they will need to understand how they can protect their rights and avoid discipline. Protecting your rights begins with hiring an experienced attorney.

Laws Providing Whistleblower Protections for Civil Service Employees

Under New York Civil Service Law Section 75-b, civil service employees have the right to report violations of laws, regulations, or rules to the appropriate authorities without fear of retaliation. Specifically, if a person witnesses behavior or discovers actions or policies by government employees that have led to a substantial risk to public safety, they should be able to report these violations without being subject to discipline for doing so.

Whenever an employee discloses information that they believe is factual and demonstrates an "improper governmental action," their employer cannot take adverse actions against them. Improper governmental actions may include any actions taken by a government agency, an employee, or an agent working for an employer or employee that violates federal, state, or local laws, rules, or regulations. These actions may be related to a person's official duties, or they may be outside the scope of a person's employment, but if they constitute violations of the law, a civil service employee should be able to report them without fearing that they could face consequences.

Whistleblowers are protected against retaliation in any form, but they are specifically protected against "adverse personnel actions." These may include actions that could affect the compensation they receive or the position they work in, such as termination, denial of a promotion, decreases in pay, reassignments or transfers, or negative performance evaluations that are not based on the employee's actual job performance. Retaliation may also take more subtle forms, such as harassment by managers or coworkers or unfavorable job assignments. 

If an employee believes that they are being retaliated against for blowing the whistle, they will have the burden of proof to demonstrate that retaliation has occurred. This means that they will need to show that any adverse personnel actions taken against them would not have occurred if they had not reported a violation. This is not always easy to do, since an employer may claim that discipline is based on unrelated factors, such as poor job performance. However, if an employee can show that retaliation occurred, the disciplinary proceedings against them may be dismissed, and they may be reinstated to their position and receive back pay.

Contact Our New York City, NY Civil Service Employee Whistleblower Protection Attorney

Whistleblower protections are essential for promoting transparency, accountability, and integrity among public officials and government employees. As a civil service employee, it is crucial to know your rights and options when reporting illegal or unethical behavior or responding to disciplinary action. With the help of the experienced Manhattan, NY civil service employee defense lawyer at The Law Firm of Gregory J. Watford, Esq., PLLC, you can take steps to protect yourself and ensure that you are treated fairly during disciplinary proceedings. Contact our office at 646-580-6675  to set up a consultation and learn more about how we can help you protect your rights as a civil service employee.

Share this post:
Back to Top