You have the right to feel safe and protected in your workplace. No one, including your boss, should make you feel pressured to commit an illegal act or subject you to discriminatory behavior. So, what do you do if that happens? It may seem scary and impossible to get yourself out of that situation. You may fear losing your job, losing income, and more. In this blog, we’ll discuss your rights under New Jersey law as a whistleblower and some of the steps you should consider taking before objecting to or publicly reporting your employer’s unlawful conduct. .
What Is Whistleblowing?
. The good news here is that New Jersey has one of the strongest protections for whistleblowers, at the state level, under the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA).Under CEPA, it is unlawful for your employer to retaliate against you if you report, object to, or refuse to participate in conduct that you reasonably believe:
- is a violation of a law, rule, or regulation, or, if the employee is a licensed or certified health care professional, constitutes improper quality of patient care;
- is fraudulent or criminal; or
- is incompatible with a clear mandate of public policy concerning the public health, safety, or welfare or protection of the environment.
In order to make out a successful claim under CEPA, you must be able to show that you reasonably believe your employer’s conduct falls into one of the above categories. You will need to be able to show more than just bad management by your employer. The New Jersey Supreme Court has decided a number of cases that provide guidance as to what conduct is protected under CEPA; and what conduct is not protected by this law. Therefore, if you are considering “blowing whistle on your employer,” it is critical that you first get competent legal advice from an attorney experienced in employment law.
What Is Workplace Retaliation?
Workplace retaliation is illegal, yet it still can happen to you. Your employer is not allowed to take harmful actions against you—giving you a bad performance review; demoting you; terminating your employment—for reporting illegal activity or discrimination. They are also not allowed to dissuade you from reporting.
If you want to know your rights as an employee under New Jersey’s Conscientious Employee Protection Act, we encourage you to contact Schall & Barasch, LLC at (856) 242-8491! We are here to make sure you’re well informed; that your rights are protected; and that you are represented by experienced employment lawyers willing to take on even the largest corporations