N.J.S.A 2A:32C-10 Disclosure of information by employee, employee protections.

2A:32C-10 Disclosure of information by employee, employee protections.

10. a. No employer shall make, adopt, or enforce any rule, regulation, or policy preventing an employee from disclosing information to a State or law enforcement agency or from acting to further a false claims action, including investigating, initiating, testifying, or assisting in an action filed or to be filed under this act.

b. No employer shall discharge, demote, suspend, threaten, harass, deny promotion to, or in any other manner discriminate against an employee in the terms and conditions of employment because of lawful acts done by the employee on behalf of the employee or others in disclosing information to a State or law enforcement agency or in furthering a false claims action, including investigation for, initiation of, testimony for, or assistance in an action filed or to be filed under this act.

C. An employer who violates subsection b. of this section shall be liable for all relief necessary to make the employee whole, including reinstatement with the same seniority status such employee would have had but for the discrimination, two times the amount of back pay, interest on the back pay, compensation for any special damage sustained as a result of the discrimination, and, where appropriate, punitive damageS.In addition, the defendant shall be required to pay litigation costs and reasonable attorney’s fees associated with an action brought under this section. An employee may bring an action in the Superior Court for the relief provided in this subsection.

d. An employee who is discharged, demoted, suspended, harassed, denied promotion, or in any other manner discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment by his employer because of participation in conduct which directly or indirectly resulted in a false claim being submitted to the State shall be entitled to the remedies under subsection C. of this section if, and only if, both of the following occurred:

(1) The employee voluntarily disclosed information to a State or law enforcement agency or acts in furtherance of a false claims action, including investigation for, initiation of, testimony for, or assistance in an action filed or to be filed.

(2) The employee had been harassed, threatened with termination or demotion, or otherwise coerced by the employer or its management into engaging in the fraudulent activity in the first place.

L.2007, C. 265, S.10.

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