The New Jersey Statute which protects whistleblowers from retaliation and/or termination is called the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA). The goal of CEPA is not to make lawyers out of whistleblowing employees, and therefore, if you object to employer conduct that you reasonably believe to be unlawful or indisputably dangerous to the public health, safety or welfare, you may be a whistleblower.
In its basic form, a whistleblower is one who takes some action against their employer when they:
•· disclose, or threaten to disclose, activities that they believe to be illegal, fraudulent, or criminal;
•· provide information or testify about violations; or
•· object to or refuse to participate in activities they believe to be illegal, fraudulent, criminal, or against public policy.
CEPA defines retaliatory action as the discharge, suspension or demotion of an employee, or other adverse employment action taken against an employee in the terms and conditions of employment.
To establish a prima facie case for CEPA retaliation by an employer, you must demonstrate the following four prongs:
•1. The employee reasonably believes that the employer's conduct violated either a law or a rule or regulation promulgated pursuant to law;
•2. The employee performed whistle-blowing activity described in CEPA;
•3. The employer took adverse employment action against the employee; and
•4. A causal connection exists between whistle-blowing activity and the adverse employment action.
The Whistleblower Act defines "retaliatory action" as the discharge, suspension or demotion of an employee, or other adverse employment action taken against an employee in the terms and conditions of employment. The "adverse employment action is limited to completed personnel actions that have an effect on either compensation or job rank, and not temporary ones, or ones that do not effect your compensation.
The New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act protects employees from being victims retaliation in the work place. To find out if you are a Whistleblower, please contact Mark Law Firm, LLC at (973) 440-2311, (908) 626-1001 or (201) 787-9406, or you can tell us your story by clicking the "contact us" page. We represent clients New Jersey including Basking Ridge, Newark and Jersey City.