Whistleblower (NY Labor Law § 740) Claim, Arising From Discharge Following Complaint of PPE Price-Gouging, Survives Dismissal

In Jones v. CareandWear II, Inc., No. 656428/2020, 75 Misc. 3d 1205(A), 2022 N.Y. Slip Op. 50383(U), 2022 WL 1483791 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. N.Y. Cty. May 10, 2022), the court, inter alia, held that plaintiff sufficiently alleged a claim of retaliatory discharge in violation of New York’s general whistleblowing statute, NY Labor Law § 740.

From the decision:

Plaintiff’s second employment claim is for retaliatory discharge under NY Labor Law § 740 against Razdan, C & W, and Lukanga. To state a claim under NY Labor Law § 740, a plaintiff must allege (1) a retaliatory personnel action; (2) caused by the plaintiff’s actual or threatened disclosure of an activity, policy, or practice that creates a substantial and specific danger to the public health or safety (Webb-Weber v Community Action for Human Servs., Inc., 23 NY3d 448, 453-54 [2014]). Plaintiff alleges that she raised concerns to the board and to Razdan individually about conduct by Razdan and C & W that posed a substantial danger to public health and safety, including price-gouging with respect to PPE and selling PPE to healthcare facilities without any quality control measures. Shortly after plaintiff raised her concerns about PPE, Razdan removed plaintiff from the email distribution list and barred plaintiff from receiving information regarding the PPE sales. In June 2020, Razdan terminated plaintiff. Razdan and Lukanga allegedly agreed to remove her from the board. Plaintiff adequately alleges a retaliatory personnel action against Razdan and C & W.

Accordingly, held the court, plaintiff’s retaliatory discharge claims against defendants Razdan and C & W survive their motion to dismiss.

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