Whistleblower protection laws forbid employers from firing, demoting, or otherwise punishing an employee for disclosing or refusing to participate in illegal conduct. Without these laws, employees would have little ability to object to business activities they believe are illegal or dangerous. Whistleblower protection laws are essential to the functioning of our democracy.
However, even though these laws exist, blowing the whistle can be an incredibly scary experience. Even if you are confident that you are right, and that you would win a whistleblower retaliation lawsuit, potentially suffering consequences for listening to your conscience can be an intimidating prospect.
At Green Savits, LLC, we will have your back. Our New Jersey employment attorneys have extensive experience and a successful track record representing whistleblowers. If you were retaliated against by your employer for exposing or threatening to expose illegal conduct, we will fight for you. This blog breaks down how to file a whistleblower claim in New Jersey.
New Jersey Whistleblower Protection Laws
The New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act, or CEPA, is one of the strongest whistleblower protection statutes in the country. It prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for the following activities:
- Disclosing or threatening to disclose an activity, policy or practice that the employee reasonably believes is fraudulent, illegal, or criminal
- Testifying or otherwise providing information to a public body during an investigation, hearing, or inquiry into an employer's alleged illegal activities
- Refusing to participate in an activity that the employee reasonably believes is fraudulent, illegal, or criminal
CEPA forbids employers from taking any adverse action against employees who blow the whistle. Prohibited adverse actions include:
- Reduction in pay or benefits
Filing a Whistleblower Retaliation Claim
If you believe your employer is breaking the law, your first step should be to consult with the attorneys at Green Savits, LLC. We will evaluate the situation and advise you on how to proceed.
Next, you should bring the violation to the attention of your supervisor. This is a necessary step to filing a whistleblower claim. Your employer must have a reasonable opportunity to correct the issue. However, if your supervisor knows about the violation or you fear immediate physical retaliation and the situation is an emergency, you do not have to notify them.
Finally, if you are retaliated against, you can file a claim in the appropriate court. Under CEPA, there is only a one-year statute of limitations, so you must file quickly. If you file a lawsuit under CEPA, you waive your rights available under your employment contract or collective bargaining agreement.
Damages in a Whistleblower Retaliation Lawsuit
In a whistleblower retaliation claim, you can recover damages including:
- Reinstated employment
- Recovery of lost wages
- Reinstatement of benefits
Depending on the severity of the conduct, your employer may also be penalized with civil fines and punitive damages.
Contact Our New Jersey Whistleblower Retaliation Lawyers Today
At Green Savits, LLC, our track record of defending whistleblowers speaks for itself. Abbamont v. Piscataway Board of Education, the first New Jersey whistleblower case to be decided in the whistleblower's favor, was tried and litigated in the New Jersey Supreme Court by our partner Glen Savits.
Mr. Savits and fellow partner Jon Green also successfully argued in Green v. Jersey City Board of Education, in which the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that whistleblowers can collect punitive damages.
If you believe your employer is engaging in illegal conduct, don't let fear stop you from listening to your conscience. We will aggressively defend your rights as a whistleblower and help you recover the compensation you deserve.
We serve Florham Park and nearby areas of northern and central New Jersey. Call (973) 695-7777 today to schedule a consultation.