Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) – Whistleblower
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When it comes to New Jersey law, the legal team at PSCB Law has your back. We have a team of experienced, professional legal counsel that is well versed in New Jersey law, including issues related to employment law. If you are in need of legal counsel related to employment law in New Jersey, we’re happy to help. Talk to a NJ CEPA Lawyer for any whistleblower questions you may have.
Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA)
One piece of New Jersey law all employers and employees should familiarize themselves with is the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA). Also known as the whistleblower act, this piece of law was created to protect adverse employment action used against employees who have spoken out against unlawful actions in their workplace. A NJ Whistleblower attorney can discuss your options.
The Conscientious Employee Protection Act was enacted by the New Jersey State Legislature to put protections in place for employees who have been discharged, suspended, demoted, or received adverse employment action from their employer for specific workplace activities. These activities revolve around the employee disclosing, threatening to disclose what they believe to be unlawful activity. In addition there are certain requirements placed on the employee to receive protection, such as making an objection to the activity in question. These actions permit attorneys fees.
But what are the key facets of this law? And how does it work to protect you? Let’s dive in to learn more.
What is The Conscientious Employee Protection Act?
The Conscientious Employee Protection Act is a piece of law enacted by the New Jersey State Legislature that protects employees who disclose, or threaten to disclose, unlawful activity in the workplace. This piece of law protects employees from the retaliatory action of an employer, including the wrongful termination, dismissal, demotion, or suspension of an employee.
When someone makes a CEPA claim, they have often been wrongfully dismissed as a result of reporting or disclosing illegal activity to their employer, a public body, or an investigation. If you are an employee who sees illegal activity in the workplace, reporting it is a protected activity under CEPA. You are free to report or refuse to participate in any illegal workplace activity without fear of retaliation.
If you do report, disclose, or refuse to participate in illegal conduct at work, whistleblower protections exist to allow you to speak out. With CEPA, you can seek to recuperate punitive damages from your employer if they are punishing you for whistleblowing activity.
What Are You Protected From?
As we’ve alluded to above, CEPA protects New Jersey employees who object to things in the workplace that they reasonably believe violate public law or are unlawful in nature. If an employee chooses to practice their right to report such a violation, they are protected from the unlawful retaliation of their employer, including demoting, suspending, and terminating the employee.
Specifically, these protections cover the following:
- Employees have the right to refuse to participate in practices that they reasonably believe violate the law, are fraudulent or criminal in nature or are incompatible with public safety, public health, public welfare, or environmental protections.
- Employees are allowed to threaten to disclose or outrightly disclose, information to law enforcement, management, supervisors or government regulators about any workplace practices or policies that they reasonably believe are illegal, criminal, or fraudulent in nature.
- Employees are allowed to testify and/or provide information to public bodies in active investigations about potential violations caused by an employer or provide information about unlawful practices to clients or entities that work with their employer.
- Certified and licensed health care professionals are allowed to refuse to participate in, or object to, workplace practices that they reasonably believe constitute improper patient care. They can also disclose this information to management, supervisors, or public bodies.
Dealing With A CEPA Violation
CEPA provides broad protection for employees in New Jersey, thanks to the New Jersey Supreme Court, who want to work safely, and without participating in illegal activity. If you believe you have been wrongfully terminated, suspended, or punished as a result of whistleblowing, we urge you to seek legal advice.
It’s important to know that in New Jersey, the plaintiff must bring a CEPA lawsuit to their employer within a year of the retaliation actions of their employer. If your legal counsel finds your employer has violated CEPA law, you can successfully pursue justice in court.
Damages to Pursue
If you choose to bring a lawsuit against your employer, there are a number of damages you can seek. These damages can include:
- the reinstatement of your job
- injunctive orders
- damages for emotional distress
- the reinstatement of job seniority
- the reinstatement of job benefits
- recuperation of lost wages
- recuperation of lost benefits
- payment for attorney fees and punitive damages
Other New Jersey Protections
When pursuing a CEPA violation, there could be a chance that your specific situation does not violate any CEPA law. However, there are a number of other protections provided in the state of New Jersey that work to protect employees from unfair termination or retaliation in the workplace.
These protections include New Jersey state statutes such as:
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination – This legislature prohibits an employer from engaging in discrimination against an employee based on disability, age, sexual orientation, gender, religion, nationality, or race.
The New Jersey Wage & Hour Act – This legislation protects employees from wage theft, by solidifying a minimum wage and overtime pay requirements.
The New Jersey Family Leave Act – This legislature works to protect employees by making them entitled to leave for family, and/or medical-related issues.
These pieces of legislature, along with CEPA protections, work to protect employees from unfair employer retaliation.
Let PSCB Law Help You
If you believe you have been subjected to unfair retaliation by your employer, in a way that violates CEPA, we are prepared to help. With us on your side, you will be able to confidently pursue any damages and get the justice you deserve.
Our team has a roster of wonderful, experienced legal counsel that are experts in New Jersey law. We’re ready to work to protect you from unfair treatment at the hands of an employer.
You deserve a lawyer who will assert your legal rights and protections as outlined in New Jersey law. If you have been retaliated against due to whistleblowing in the workplace, feel free to reach out to us. You can contact through the form on this page or you can also call us at (201) 273-9246 or email us at Contact@PSCBLaw.com.
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