Kristin Klein Wheaton, a partner in the firm’s Employment and Labor and Commercial Litigation and Arbitration groups, was featured in an article in Buffalo Business First discussing whistleblower complaints and litigation resulting from safety issues in the workplace, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“New York State is advertising on its website that any employee who feels that their employer is either not following the governor’s executive orders or the guidelines issued by Empire State Development can file a complaint,” Kristin said. “It can be done online with the click of the mouse. The state is taking these complaints, and it is important for employers to make sure that they’re following the applicable guidance.”
In the beginning of the pandemic, Kristin and other Goldberg Segalla attorneys worked on cases where employees of essential businesses filed complaints with New York Attorney General Letitia James about remaining in the workplace as the number of virus cases rose. These complaints “tapered off,” she told Business First, but are likely to increase again through the fall and winter.
“It’s a challenging time for everyone,” she said. “There’s no playbook for a lot of these issues; they are new issues created by the pandemic. Although whistleblower complaints have been around for a while, the situation that employers find themselves in is not one that’s been addressed before.”
“Wrought by Covid-19 Safety Missteps, Whistleblower Litigation Expected to Rise,” Buffalo Business First, August 25, 2020
Kristin Klein Wheaton counsels and defends the interests of clients facing employment and labor issues, civil rights and discrimination claims, and complex commercial disputes. A skilled problem solver with over 20 years of legal experience in both the private and public sectors, Kristin’s wide-ranging practice includes labor and employee relations, contract negotiations, conducting internal investigations, and assisting clients with Human Resources and employment counseling, as well as the creation and maintenance of compliance policies and strategies for state and federal laws.