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Massachusetts Whistleblower Laws


Most states have laws that prohibit retaliation against employees (which may include termination or demotion) who report dangerous, unethical, or otherwise unsavory acts by the employer. These so-called "whistleblower" laws protect employees who otherwise might not step forward with important information. Unlike some other states, Massachusetts whistleblower only apply to public employers and have many qualifiers and remedies included.

Learn more about Massachusetts' whistleblower laws in the following table. See Whistleblower Retaliation Could Land You in Trouble for more details.


Code Section 149§185
Prohibited Employer Activity Can not discharge, suspend, demote, or other retaliatory action if employee discloses or threatens to disclose; provides information or testifies; or objects or refuses to participate in violation of law, rule or risk to public health, safety, or environment
Protection for Public or Private Employees? Public
Opportunity for Employer to Correct? Employee must bring violation to attention of his/her supervisor and afford them the opportunity to correct unless employee a) was certain supervisors know of violation and situation is an emergency, b) reasonably fears physical harm resulting from disclosure or c) unless disclosure is evidence of a crime
Remedies Can file civil action within 2 years of incident, court can give all civil law tort remedies including: temporary restraining order, preliminary/permanent injunction, reinstatement, reinstate full benefits and seniority rights, back pay, benefits, court and attorney's fees
Penalties -

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Massachusetts employment law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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