Under New Jersey employment law, a whistleblower is an employee who reports or complains about an employer’s illegal or unethical practices, policies, or actions. Whistleblowers are protected under New Jersey’s Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA), which is designed to encourage employees to speak up when they witness or suspect illegal or unethical behavior in the workplace.
CEPA protects employees who report or complain about various types of employer misconduct, including:
- Violations of state or federal laws or regulations
- Gross mismanagement or waste of public funds
- Discrimination or retaliation against employees for reporting misconduct or participating in an investigation
- Improper or harmful environmental practices
- Any other activity that the employee reasonably believes is in violation of a law or regulation, or is fraudulent or criminal
Under CEPA, employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who report or complain about employer misconduct. Retaliation can include termination, demotion, reduction in pay, or other adverse employment actions. If an employee experiences retaliation for whistleblowing, they may be entitled to legal remedies such as reinstatement, back pay, and damages.
It is important for employees to understand their rights and protections under CEPA if they witness or suspect illegal or unethical behavior in the workplace. Employees who are considering blowing the whistle on their employer should also consult with an experienced employment law attorney to discuss their options and legal protections.
If you feel that you’re a victim of retaliation as a whistleblower, contact us at (973) 383-2700 for a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation.