Whistleblower Claims

New Jersey Whistleblower Claims Attorneys

New Jersey laws encourage employees to report and avoid illegal activities in the workplace. New Jersey’s Conscientious Employee Protection Act, commonly referred to as “CEPA” or New Jersey’s Whistleblower Law, is in place to help protect those that do. It protects employees who report, object to, or won’t participate in any practice, policy, or conduct by their employer that they reasonably think violates a rule, law, or clear mandate of public policy regarding public health, safety, or patient care that is fraudulent. In some situations, contractors are also protected by New Jersey’s Whistleblower Law.

If you’ve been retaliated against for acting under this law, you have legal rights and options. A reputable New Jersey whistleblower claims attorney can help you navigate this path.

New Jersey’s Whistleblower Laws

New Jersey’s whistleblower laws are well-known for being the strictest in the United States. Under New Jersey employment law, employers aren’t permitted to take any type of retaliatory action against an employee for reporting something they believed to be unethical or illegal. At Varcadipane & Pinnisi, PC, our New Jersey whistleblower claims attorneys fight for the rights of employees who have been retaliated against for their sounding the alarm on illegal activity in the workplace.

It is illegal for an employer to take action against an employee for objecting to or disclosing illegal activity. Retaliation includes firing an employee; however, it’s often done in much more subtle ways. Any retaliation is prohibited, apparent, or not. For example, suppose the reason is related to an employee’s objections or disclosures. In that case, the employer may not take any of the following actions:

  • Transfer
  • Reduce reductions
  • Take away overtime hours or pay
  • Provide intentionally undesirable assignments 
  • Harass

In order for an employee to receive protection, it’s best if their whistleblowing is in writing. For example, suppose an employee is going to make a complaint to a public body. In that case, they should first give their employer a formal written notice, so the employer has the opportunity to correct the issue. Exceptions include:

  • Emergency situations
  • The employee is reasonably sure that the practices are known to the employee’s supervisors
  • The employee reasonably fears physical harm

Even if written notice isn’t required, it’s still a good idea to provide one if possible. Unfortunately, without a “paper trail” of documented evidence, these cases can become disputes over who said what. Having a detailed paper trail dramatically increases the chances of a successful claim.

If the New Jersey CEPA claim is successful, the employee can recover the wages they have already lost and will lose in the future because of the retaliation. They might also recover compensation for emotional/mental distress and punitive damages. Additionally, they also stand to recover the costs of litigation and attorney’s fees.

Examples of behavior that might be reported by a whistleblower who is then retaliated against:

  • A county employee objecting to fraudulent billing practices
  • An energy company manager objecting to the reporting of false or misleading information to a government agency
  • A public school employee school exercising free speech rights and objecting to various legal violations
  • Locksmiths objecting performing work for which they weren’t licensed

Other Legal Protections for New Jersey Whistleblowers

CEPA is New Jersey’s chief whistleblower protection. However, our New Jersey whistleblower claims lawyer can uphold employees’ rights through many other laws as well:

  • Pierce Claims: Employers can’t retaliate against employees who protect, support, or advance state or federal rights or blow the whistle on wrongdoing.
  • False Claims Act: Employees can report employers for defrauding the federal government.
  • Sarbanes Oxley: Protects employees in publicly traded companies who report illegal accounting practices.
  • Wage and Hour Retaliation: Employers can’t retaliate against employees who object that they or other employees were not getting paid earned wages.
  • Title VII and New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination: Both of these laws forbid employers from retaliating against employees who report or object to discrimination or testify about bias.
  • Workers Compensation Retaliation. Employers can’t take retaliatory action against employees for filing workers’ compensation claims.
  • Qui Tam Actions: Whistleblowers can take legal action against contractors who defraud the federal government and receive a portion of any compensation awarded.
  • Civil Service Laws: Public employers can’t retaliate against employees who object to or report civil service violations.

Do You Need to Talk to a New Jersey Whistleblower Claims Attorney? We are Here to Help

If you think that you have been retaliated against because of your whistleblowing, disclosures, or objections to illegal activity, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Varcadipane & Pinnisi, PC today. You can call us at 800-616-2916 or contact us online. We provide no-obligation case reviews with reputable New Jersey whistleblower claims lawyers.

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