New Hampshire Whistleblower Laws

Whistleblowers laws of New Hampshire

A Summary of New Hampshire Whistleblower Laws

Employees in New Hampshire can be discharged from work for any reason or no reason under what is known as the employment-at-will doctrine. However, employees can still seek protection through the state’s statutory and common law protections. Statutory protections are laws that are enacted by the state’s legislature to address specific subject areas, e.g., wage discrimination, whereas common law protections are laws created by courts to address areas not covered by the enacted laws.

This is a summary of New Hampshire Whistleblower Laws, make sure to check out the Federal Whistleblower Laws as well.

Whistleblower Rights in New Hampshire

Common Law Protections for Whistleblowers in New Hampshire

New Hampshire has a public policy that is used as a remedy to the employment-at-will statute. Employers are not allowed to discharge an employee for reasons that violate public policy. New Hampshire considers certain activities as protected activities under its public policy. This means employees cannot be discharged for engaging in a protected activity. Some of these activities include:

  • Exercising a legal right.
  • Reporting a violation of a law, rule, or regulation.
  • Refusing to carry out an activity that may result in a violation of public policy.

Statutory Protections for Whistleblowers in New Hampshire

Whistleblowers’ Protection Act

Employers are not allowed to discharge, intimidate, alter terms of employment, or in any way discriminate against an employee in retaliation for:

  • Reporting in good faith a violation of a rule, law, or regulation.
  • Refusing to participate in an activity that would result in a violation of a law, rule, or regulation.
  • Participating in an investigation, hearing, or inquiry conducted by a governmental entity or court action, concerning the violation of a law, rule, or regulation by the employer.

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 275-E:2.

Also, employees cannot be retaliated against for refusing to execute a directive that is in violation of a law, rule, or regulation. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 275-E:3.

Public Employee Labor Relations

Employers are not allowed to discharge or in any way discriminate against an employee in retaliation for:

  • Filing a complaint under this statute.
  • Filing an affidavit or petition under this statute.
  • Giving information or testimony under this statute.

N.H. Rev. Stat. § 273:A-5.

Asbestos Management and Control

Employers are not allowed to discharge, discipline or in any way discriminate against an employee in retaliation for filing a complaint or instituting a proceeding related to asbestos management and control laws. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §141-E:19.

Child Care Licensing

No child care agency or child-placing agency license holder is allowed to discharge, harass, or in any way discriminate against an employee in retaliation for reporting a suspected violation of provisions or rules under this statute. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 170-E:48.

Dog and Horse Racing Employees

It is unlawful for an employer to discharge or in any way discriminate against an employee in retaliation for:

  • Filing a complaint under this statute.
  • Filing an affidavit or petition under this statute.
  • Giving information or testimony under this statute.

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 273-C:6.

Hazardous Waste Management

It is illegal to discharge or in any way discriminate against an employee in retaliation for disclosing a violation of hazardous waste management laws. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 147-A:12.

Crime Victim Employment Leave

No employer is allowed to discharge, alter terms of employment, threaten or in any way discriminate against an employee in retaliation for exercising his or her right to leave work under the Crime Victim Employment Leave Act. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 275:64. Under this act, employees who are victims of a crime have a right to leave work to attend court or other legal or investigative proceedings that are related to the prosecution of the crime. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 275:62.

Occupational Safety and Health

Employers are not allowed to take any adverse action against an employee in retaliation for exercising a right endorsed by this statute. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 277:35-a.

Toxic Substances

No employer is allowed to discharge, discipline, or in any way discriminate against an employee in retaliation for:

  • Filing a complaint under this statute.
  • Exercising a right under this statute.
  • Instituting a proceeding under this statute.

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 277-A:7.

Discrimination in the Workplace

Employers are not allowed to discharge or in any way discriminate against an employee in retaliation for:

  • Making a charge or filing a complaint under this statute.
  • Instituting a proceeding, hearing, investigation, or action under this statute, including an investigation conducted by the employer.
  • Testifying or intending to testify or participating in any such investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action.
  • Discussing his or her wages or those of another employee.

This statute does not apply to employees who have access to wage information of other employees as part of such employee’s job description and who disclose such information to unauthorized individuals unless such disclosure is in response to a complaint or charge or aimed at assisting in an investigation, proceeding, hearing or action.

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 275:38-A.

Whistleblower Retaliation Claims in New Hampshire

Unless stated otherwise by a statute, wrongful retaliation suits should be filed within 3 years of the retaliatory action.

Whistleblowers’ Protection Act

Aggrieved employees are required to bring a civil action suit under this statute within 3 years of the retaliatory action. Also, a complaint can be filed with the New Hampshire Department of Labor. However, aggrieved employees are required to first exhaust the grievance procedures that are available at the workplace before filing a complaint with the New Hampshire Department of Labor.

Dog and Horse Racing Employees

Complaints under this act should be filed with the public employee labor relations board.

Public Employee Labor Relations

Complaints under this act should be filed with the public employee labor relations board within 6 months of the retaliatory action. However, aggrieved employees are required to first exhaust administrative remedies provided by other statutes.

Occupational Safety and Health

Complaints under this act should be filed with the New Hampshire Department of Labor.

Toxic Substances

Complaints under this statute should be filed with the New Hampshire Department of Labor within 30 days of the retaliatory action.

Whistleblower Hotlines in New Hampshire

To file a complaint with the New Hampshire Department of Labor, call (603) 271-3176.

To file a complaint with the public employee labor relations board, call (603) 271-2587.

Whistleblower Retaliation and Violation Penalties in New Hampshire

Whistleblowers’ Protection Act

In case the aggrieved employee brings a civil suit, the court may award the following reliefs:

  • Reinstatement.
  • Back-pay.
  • Reasonable attorney fees and costs.

Also, in case the complaint is brought before the commissioner of labor, he or she may order:

  • Reinstatement of the aggrieved employee.
  • Payment of back pay.
  • Fringe benefits and seniority rights.
  • Any other appropriate relief.

Child Care Licensing

Any child care agency or child-placing agency license holder that carries out unlawful retaliation against an employee may be punished by license revocation.

Crime Victim Employment Leave

Employers who violate this statute may be liable for a civil penalty not exceeding $2,500.

Dog and Horse Racing Employees

If an employer is found guilty of violating this statute, the public employee labor relations board may award the aggrieved employee the following relief:

  • Cease and desist order.
  • Reinstatement to previous job position with back pay.
  • Payment of costs incurred in negotiating.
  • Plus any other appropriate relief.

Hazardous Waste Management

Employers who violate this statute may be liable to the aggrieved employee for:

  • Injunctive relief.
  • Compensatory and exemplary damages.
  • Reasonable attorney’s fees.

In addition, natural persons who willfully violate this statute may be found guilty of a class B felony. Any other person may be found guilty of a felony.

Occupational Safety and Health

If the commissioner of labor determines that an employer carried out unlawful retaliation against an employee, he or she may order reinstatement of the employee or such other action as he or she deems necessary.

Public Employee Labor Relations

If an employer is found guilty of violating this statute, the public employee labor relations board may award the aggrieved employee the following relief:

  • Cease and desist order.
  • Reinstatement to previous job position with back pay.
  • Payment of costs incurred in negotiating.
  • Plus any other appropriate relief.

Toxic Substances

Employers who violate this statute may be liable for a civil penalty not exceeding $2,500. Each day the violation continues will be considered as an additional and separate offense.

Discrimination in the Workplace

Employers who violate this statute may be liable for a civil penalty not exceeding $2,500. Also, if the employer is considered a natural person, he or she may be found guilty of a violation or guilty of a misdemeanor if he or she is not considered a natural person.

More New Hampshire Laws

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *