Several pieces of legislation have been established to protect whistleblowers from retaliatory actions by employers, such as demotion or termination while encouraging ethical industrial practices, these include the:
- New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA)
- Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989
- False Claims ActUnfortunately
These laws do not always stop employers from acting aggressively and unlawfully against employees who try to speak out. If you believe that you were demoted, terminated, or otherwise financially punished because you testified against your employer, because you indicated an unwillingness to participate in illegal activities, or because you filed a complaint or raised concerns about illegal practices in your workplace, you may have legal recourse in the form of a whistleblower retaliation claim. If you believe this describes your situation, you are urged to immediately contact the Law Offices of Usmaan Sleemi for experience-driven, results-oriented legal guidance concerning the appropriate course of action.
If you were demoted or fired for whistleblowing, or if your employer took other retaliatory actions, such as reducing your hours or cutting your benefits, our New Jersey whistleblower retaliation attorneys may be able to help you return to your job or recover compensation for your financial losses. For a free consultation about your legal options concerning a whistleblower retaliation claim in New Jersey, contact our law offices at (973) 453-4060.
NEW JERSEY WHISTLEBLOWER LAWS: THE CONSCIENTIOUS EMPLOYEE PROTECTION ACT (CEPA)
The terms “whistleblowing,” “blowing the whistle,” and “being a whistleblower” all refer to the act of an employee formally reporting, raising concerns about, or refusing to engage in his or her employer’s illegal, fraudulent, or unethical activities, including activities that violate public policy. In short, whistleblowing is bringing attention to a prohibited act or policy.
Whistleblowing may be external, meaning the action is reported to a regulatory agency or law enforcement agency, or internal, meaning the action is reported to another person at the company which is engaging in the activity. An example of external whistleblowing could be an employee who reports his or her employer to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for dumping toxic waste or hazardous runoff into a source of drinking water, or who reports a health and safety violation to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). An example of internal whistleblowing could be an employee who discloses misconduct or fraud to a supervisor.
Several laws protect whistleblowers by prohibiting retaliatory actions by employers. One of the most significant is the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA). It is important to emphasize that, though CEPA is comprehensive in scope, when an act is reported to a public agency, its considerable protections apply only if both of the following statements are true:
- The employee gives his or her employer a “reasonable opportunity” to rectify the behavior or activity.
- The employee has supplied written notice of the behavior or activity.
Note that exception to these rules may apply in cases “where the employee reasonably believes that the activity, policy or practice is known to one or more supervisors of the employer or where the employee fears physical harm as a result of the disclosure.”
The New Jersey Conscientious Protection Act is bolstered by the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD). Though typically associated with employment discrimination, such as demoting or refusing benefits to an employee on the basis of gender, race, or religion, LAD may impact cases in which an employee is wrongfully terminated for reporting discrimination, whether against him- or herself or a co-worker, which is another form of whistleblowing and prohibited retaliation.
Various remedies may be available to an employee who was wrongfully terminated, demoted, declined for pay raises, transferred to a less favorable location, or given fewer hours as punishment for whistleblowing. Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible for the employee to get his or her job back after being terminated, or to recover compensation for financial losses stemming from the retaliatory act. Further, the employee may be entitled to back pay, compensation for legal costs, and compensation for expenses related to job-hunting, among other damages.
NORTH JERSEY WHISTLEBLOWER RETALIATION CLAIM ATTORNEYS FOR WORKERS
Despite a profusion of state and federal laws designed to protect whistleblowers, whistleblowers’ rights are frequently violated by employers who seek to intimidate, silence, or punish workers who are simply trying to act with professionalism and integrity. The aggressive New Jersey whistleblower lawyers at the Law Offices of Usmaan Sleemi are committed to sending a clear message that retaliatory actions against conscientious employees will not be tolerated, and that employers will be held accountable.
If you believe that you lost your job, that your benefits or hours were cut, that you were demoted or relocated, or that you experienced other forms of retaliation due to whistleblowing, our employment law attorneys can help you determine what steps you should take to restore your position or obtain compensation for your losses. To learn more about New Jersey and federal whistleblower protection laws, and how they may apply to your case, contact the Law Offices of Usmaan Sleemi at (973) 453-4060 for a free consultation. We will keep your information confidential.
Law Offices of Usmaan Sleemi LLC.
New Jersey Office:
66 NJ-17 #500,
Paramus, New Jersey 07652