New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act Lawyer (CEPA)
Nobody should ever have to choose between doing the right thing and keeping their job. Unfortunately, far too many New Jersey workers are pressured to “look the other way” when it comes to potentially illegal activities committed by their employers. For this reason, New Jersey law provides strong protections for “whistleblowers” who decide to come forward.
An experienced New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act lawyer can advise you of your rights as a potential whistleblower. And if you have come forward, Poulos LoPiccolo PC can represent you if your employer has taken any adverse action against you in retaliation. No employer has the right to punish you for following the law, and we will help hold them legally accountable if necessary.
Protecting Whistleblowers from Retaliation in the Workplace
The New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) forbids an employer from taking “retaliatory action” against an employee who engages in certain legally protected activities, such as:
- disclosing, or threatening to disclose, any policy or practice of the employer (or another business in a relationship with the employer) that the employee “reasonably believes” violates some government law or regulation;
- testifying or otherwise providing information to any government body conducting an investigation into the activities of the employer or its business associates;
- providing information to any individual–including a client, shareholder, or customer–about a possible deception or misrepresentation made by the employer;
- objecting to, or refusing to participate in, any activity of the employer that the employee reasonably believes is illegal, fraudulent, or otherwise incompatible with public policy.
The fact that an employee need only “reasonably believe” their employer is doing something wrong is crucial to the CEPA. It means that even if it turned out the employer did not break the law or defraud anyone, the employee is still protected for stepping forward in good faith. An employer cannot engage in retaliatory action simply because the allegations did not result in any formal legal finding against the company.
Retaliation under the CEPA is also not limited to simply firing an employee who acts as a protected whistleblower. Any adverse employment act can qualify as retaliation. This includes demoting or reassigning a whistleblower, cutting their pay or benefits, or simply engaging in abusive or harassing conduct towards the whistleblower.
NJ CEPA Lawyers Serving Ocean, Monmouth & Middlesex County
Many employers are smart enough to try and cover their tracks when retaliating against a whistleblower. The employer will often create a paper trail to justify a retaliatory act, such as documenting alleged instances of employee misconduct or poor performance, that can then be cited as legitimate grounds for termination. To guard against this possibility, it is important for a potential whistleblower to speak with a skilled New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) lawyer as soon as possible. At Poulos LoPiccolo PC, we can review your case and provide you with legal advice tailored to your unique situation. Call us today to schedule an initial consultation.