New Jersey Wrongful Termination Lawyers
Losing your job is distressing enough. Losing your job under illegal or prohibited circumstances not only morally reprehensible, it has devastating consequences to both your professional and personal life. Wrongful termination laws protect New Jersey workers from being fired under certain conditions. These conditions are very specific, and not everyone who gets fired is allowed to pursue legal action, so consulting an attorney is your first step in understanding your rights.
The NJ wrongful termination lawyers at Aiello Harris Abate, Law Group PC want everyone in New Jersey to work in fair and equal environments. When your basic employment rights have been violated, we give you a voice to stand up for yourself.
What is wrongful termination in New Jersey?
As an “at-will” employment state, you may be terminated from your job for any reason whatsoever – with some notable exceptions. However, if you are not one of those exceptions, your employer is allowed to fire you for a seemingly benign reason or for no reason at all.
Different rules apply to union members, public workers, and civil servants versus those working in the private sector or non-union members. For example, if you are member of a union and your termination violated your union contract, you can ask your union to bring a grievance up on your behalf. However, you cannot file a grievance on your own behalf.
Our employment lawyers at Aiello, Harris, Abate can answer all your questions about whether you qualify for a wrongful discharge lawsuit.
Conditions under which you can file a wrongful discharge claim
Simply because New Jersey is at-will employment state does not necessary preclude you from filing a wrongful termination lawsuit. There are generally four conditions under which you can file a wrongful discharge claim: discrimination, retaliation, violation of public policy, or breach of contract.
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) prohibits wrongful termination when it is motivated by discrimination on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, perceived sexual orientation, disability, perceived disability, ethnicity, national origin, age, military status, familial status, religion, creed, pregnancy, gender identity, gender expression, or cellular blood trait.
The New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA), New Jersey’s “whistleblower” statute protects employees from being terminated due to participating in whistle blowing activities. These activities include exposing fraudulent conduct within your organization, refusing to participate in fraudulent or illegal acts, or becoming involved in a fraud investigation or court case.
Violation of public policy
Known as the Pierce doctrine or “Wrongful Discharge in Violation of Public Policy doctrine” is a court decision that protects employees from being terminated for participating in conduct consistent with public policy.
Such examples include being fired for:
- Taking jury duty
- Complaining about violations of your rights under NJ labor laws
- Filing a workers’ compensation claim
- Engaging in protected free speech
- Taking protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- Taking protected military leave
- Participating in other act consistent with NJ public policy
Breach of contract
You are not an “at-will” employee if you signed an employment contract stating that you can only be fired for good reason or under specific conditions. If you were terminated against the terms of your employment contract, you may be able to file a breach of contract suit.
Contact our New Jersey wrongful termination lawyers today
Aiello, Harris, Abate Our New Jersey employment law attorneys represent you in any employment law matter you may encounter. We have experience on both sides of employment law cases, giving us the unique advantage over the other party. To set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation, contact us today at (908) 561-5577 or contact us online. We will come to you or you can schedule an appointment at one of our offices in Woodbridge, Watchung or Lyndhurst NJ.