New Jersey CEPA Lawyers
Whistleblowers’ Rights In New Jersey
You discovered wrongdoing within your organization. Perhaps your company was doing something illegal or was lying to investors. You reported the unethical behavior to the appropriate authorities. But now you are facing severely negative employment actions – maybe you were fired, demoted, or are being harassed. What do you do next? Is your company allowed to treat you this way? The short answer is no; you are protected by law from retaliation in the workplace.
Whistleblowers are invaluable assets to upholding honor in our capitalist system. That’s why we at the law firm of Aiello, Harris, Abate, Law Group PC strongly believe in protecting whistleblowers from retaliation. If you have endured adverse employment actions for reporting fraud or illegal conduct within your company, you may be entitled to compensation under the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act.
How the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) works
The New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act – N.J. Stat. § 34:19-1 (2007) (CEPA) is one of the most protective whistleblower statutes in the country. It offers broad protections for employees who:
- Disclose illegal activities performed by the company or employees.
- Disclose improper quality of patient care by healthcare professionals.
- Provide information about illegal activities or testify about illegal activities.
- Provide information about deception or misrepresentation to shareholders, patients, clients, investors, employees, former employees or retirees.
- Provide information about fraudulent or criminal activity.
- Refuse to participate in fraudulent, criminal or illegal conduct.
Even if you are wrong about the activity you reported – for example, your company was not actually performing Medicare fraud – you are still protected by CEPA. So, you cannot be retaliated against for whistleblowing even if the company or employee wasn’t actually doing anything wrong. You just need to have an “objective reasonable belief” that illegal, unethical or fraudulent conduct occurred.
Almost all employees are protected by CEPA, even those who may be considered independent contractors. CEPA covers both private sector and public employees.
What is considered retaliation?
Sometimes it can be difficult to ascertain if you have been retaliated against. If you reported bad behavior by your boss, and then he starts being unfriendly towards you, this is not necessarily retaliation. To legally constitute retaliation, you must have suffered a real, negative employment change.
Adverse employment actions such as the following are covered:
- Pay cut
- Poor performance review
- Significant changes in employment status or conditions
Can I cover compensation for suffering retaliation in New Jersey?
Yes, if you win a CEPA case you are entitled to a monetary award. Types of compensation available are:
- Economic losses
- Past and future lost wages
- Past and future lost benefits
- Emotional distress
- Attorneys’ and legal fees
- Punitive damages
Each case is different. Our NJ discrimination attorneys at Aiello, Harris, Abate, Law Group PC evaluate the details of your circumstances and work towards obtaining you maximum compensation.
Don’t wait to contact our New Jersey whistleblower lawyers today
The NJ employment lawyers of Aiello, Harris, Abate, Law Group PC stands ready to protect your rights. As a whistleblower, you deserve to be treated with dignity. Call us today at (908) 561-5577 or contact us online to learn how our attorneys can help.