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Whistleblower Protection

Whistleblower Protection

The City’s Whistleblower Law protects City employees, including employees of City entities headed by elected officials such as Borough Presidents, the City Comptroller and members of the City Council, from retaliation for reporting misconduct, corruption, criminal activity, conflicts of interest, gross mismanagement and abuse of authority. To be protected by the Law, the City employees must make these complaints to DOI or to a member of the City Council, the Public Advocate or the Comptroller, each of whom must refer the complaints to DOI. In 2007, the City Council amended the Whistleblower Law to further protect City employees who report certain conduct which presents "a substantial and specific risk of harm to the health, safety or educational welfare of a child by another city officer or employee." City employees will be protected under these amendments so long as such reports are made to DOI, the City Council, the Public Advocate, the Comptroller, the Mayor, or to an agency head, a deputy agency head or to a "superior officer" who has been designated by the head of the agency to receive such a report. The City Council amended the Whistleblower Law again in 2012 to protect officers and employees of contractors with a City contract valued at $100,000 or more. Any such officers or employees who are retaliated against by their employer for reporting corruption or other misconduct to DOI, a City Council member, the public advocate, the comptroller, or the agency chief contracting officer, are entitled to bring a cause of action against the employer seeking relief.

In 2002, DOI began the most comprehensive "Corruption Prevention/Whistleblower Protection" campaign for City employees in the agency’s history. The campaign included lectures and the distribution of printed materials, such as brochures and posters, to all City employees so they could learn how to recognize and report corruption. The campaign also taught City employees how to avoid conflicts of interest and educated them about their right to be protected from retaliation for reporting misconduct. Since this campaign began, DOI has given more than 4,600 lectures to City employees and individuals who do business with the City. The efforts have resulted in an increased number of complaints from City employees about alleged wrongdoing. These efforts remind City employees that they must report corruption, as well as reassure them they will be protected when they do.

Read the Whistleblower Law
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