Outside Section 31
Data Current as of: 7/7/2012
Said chapter 12 is hereby further amended by striking out section 5J, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 5J. (1) No employer shall make, adopt or enforce any rule, regulation or policy preventing an employee, contractor or agent from disclosing information to a government or law enforcement agency or from acting to further efforts to stop 1 or more violations of sections 5B to 5O, inclusive. No employer shall require as a condition of employment, during the term of employment or at the termination of employment that any employee, contractor or agent agree to, accept or sign an agreement that limits or denies the rights of such employee, contractor or agent to bring an action or provide information to a government or law enforcement agency pursuant to said sections 5B to 5O, inclusive. Any such agreement shall be void.
(2) An employee, contractor or agent shall be entitled to all relief necessary to make that employee, contractor or agent whole if that employee, contractor or agent is discharged, demoted, suspended, threatened, harassed or in any other manner discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment because of lawful acts done by the employee, contractor, agent or a person associated with the employee, contractor or agent in furtherance of an action under sections 5B to 5O, inclusive, or other efforts to stop a violation of said sections 5B to 5O, inclusive.
(3) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, relief under paragraph (2) shall include reinstatement with the same seniority status the employee, contractor or agent would have had but for the discrimination, twice the amount of back pay, interest on the back pay and compensation for any special damages sustained as a result of the discrimination. In addition, the defendant shall be required to pay litigation costs and reasonable attorneys' fees. An employee, contractor or agent may bring an action in the appropriate superior court, the superior court of the county of Suffolk or any other appropriate court for the relief provided in this section.
(4) A civil action under this section may not be brought more than 3 years after the date when the violation of this section occurred.