NH Whistleblower’s Protection Act – New Hampshire law extends protections to whistleblowers in the workplace, but there are limited circumstances under which such protections apply, as the New Hampshire Supreme Court clarified in a recent case, Cluff-Landry v. Roman Catholic Bishop of Manchester.
New Hampshire Whistleblower’s Protection Act
The New Hampshire Whistleblower’s Protection Act prohibits New Hampshire employers from taking various adverse employment actions against any employee who “reports or causes to be reported, verbally or in writing, what the employee has reasonable cause to believe is a violation of any law or rule adopted under the laws of this state, a political subdivision of this state, or the United States.” The case required the Court to consider whether an internal employer policy could constitute a “law or rule” within the meaning of the Whistleblower’s Protection Act.
In the Cluff-Landry case, a teacher alleged a Whistleblower’s Protection Act claim based on allegations that the School had failed to renew her contract because she reported violations of school policies.
The Hillsborough County Superior Court dismissed the teacher’s claim, and the New Hampshire Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal, holding that “[a] private employer’s internal policies or procedures do not constitute a ‘law or rule’ adopted under the laws of a state of the United States for purposes of a whistleblower claim.” The Court thus determined that to the extent the teacher’s Whistleblower’s Protection Act claim was based on her reports of violations of the school’s internal policies, the teacher had failed to allege that she engaged in any conduct protected by the Whistleblower’s Protection Act.
If you have questions concerning whether you may have a Whistleblower’s Protection Act claim, you should consult an experienced employee rights lawyer such as Benjamin King at Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C. Attorney King can be reached at (603) 288-1403 or fill out our online contact form.