Camden County Conscientious Employee Protection Act Lawyers
Seasoned Moorestown Employment Lawyers Dedicated to Protecting Whistleblowers Under the Conscientious Employee Protection Act
When you discover that your employer is committing some sort of illegal or fraudulent act or is even engaging in discrimination or allowing harassment to continue in the workplace, it can be difficult to report those actions for fear of reprisals. After all, your employer occupies an unequal position of power in that the employer controls your right to work and earn a living in your current position. Because of this fear, New Jersey has enacted one of the strongest whistleblower protection acts in the country. The Conscientious Employee Protection Act protects employees who “blow the whistle” in New Jersey by exposing or objecting to certain policies or practices adopted by their employers that the employee reasonably believes to be illegal or against public policy.
At Attorneys Hartman, Chartered, our experienced employment lawyers have developed a detailed knowledge of how the Conscientious Employee Protection Act can work to protect the rights of employees who expose employer wrongdoing. We fight not only to protect your job, but to ensure that you receive full and fair compensation for any retaliatory actions taken by your employer. Our skilled lawyers are not intimidated by large corporations and the interests they represent. We have developed a reputation for never backing down in our more than 50 years’ worth of combined experience protecting the rights of employees in Moorestown and elsewhere in New Jersey.
We provide all of our prospective clients with a free and confidential initial consultation, so call or contact us today to see how we can help you recover the compensation you deserve to hold your employer accountable.
Protections Provided Under the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act
Specifically, the Conscientious Employee Protection Act, also known as CEPA, prevents employers from terminating, demoting or taking disciplinary or other retaliatory action against an employee who:
- Exposes employer conduct that the employee believes to be illegal, fraudulent or against public policy, whether the report is made to an internal supervisor or public authority,
- Cooperates in an investigation into the employer’s conduct by a local, state or federal public agency,
- Refuses to participate in the employer’s conduct or practices that the employee believes may be illegal or threaten public policy regarding health, safety, welfare or environmental protection,
- Refuses to fulfill job duties that the employee reasonably believes to be illegal or against public policy.
- Works in healthcare and discloses improper quality or issues relating to patient care by other healthcare workers,
- Provides information regarding any misrepresentations made by the employer to shareholders, investors, patients, employees or former employees, or retirees.
Generally, to gain protections under CEPA, the whistleblower-employee must first report the activities that he or she believes are illegal or wrong to a supervisor unless:
- The employee reasonably believes that reporting the wrongdoing would create a physical threat to the employee, or
- The employee reasonably believes the supervisor already knows about the wrongdoing.
Central to the protections offered by CEPA is the “reasonable belief” element—which means that if the employee has a reasonable basis for believing that the employer’s actions are wrong, that employee is protected from retaliation even if it turns out the employer has committed no actual wrongdoing.
Skilled Employment Lawyers Fight to Enforce Protections Provided Under the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act
In order to have a valid claim under CEPA, you must be able to demonstrate some tangible form of harm that you suffered in the workplace. Although the employer’s actions may often be subtle, retaliatory actions in the workplace often include:
- Demotion or a pay cut
- Denial of a promotion
- Suspension from work
- Overt disciplinary action
- Unjustified negative performance reviews
- Constructive termination
In many cases, an employer will not actually fire or demote a whistleblower, but instead may take steps to make it difficult for the employee to continue working. Where the employer takes actions that essentially force you to quit, this is a constructive termination that is also prohibited under whistleblower protection laws.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation with Attorneys Hartman, Chartered to Discuss the Protections Provided Under the Conscientious Employee Protection Act Today
If you believe that you have suffered retaliation in the employment context after you reported, or objected to, your employer’s wrongdoing in Moorestown or elsewhere in New Jersey, you may have a valid claim for compensation under the Conscientious Employee Protection Act. At Attorneys Hartman, Chartered, we have dedicated our legal careers to protecting the rights of employees in the workplace and are passionate about holding employers accountable for their wrongdoing. We put our five-plus decades’ worth of experience to work fully in every case we take on, so call or contact our offices today to explore options for recovering compensation in your Conscientious Employee Protection Act case.
Frequently Asked Questions About the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act
FAQ: If I win my CEPA case, what will happen? Am I entitled to receive financial compensation for CEPA violations?
Yes, if you are successful in your CEPA case, you will be entitled to financial compensation for the harm that your employer’s retaliatory actions caused. This compensation includes compensation for lost wages, both past and future, if applicable, lost employment benefits, attorneys’ fees and other legal costs, emotional distress and any other economic losses that you can show occurred because of your employer’s actions. In some cases, punitive damages may even be available to punish your employer for the wrongdoing. You may also request to be reinstated in the position that you would rightfully be entitled to occupy if the retaliation had never occurred. Importantly, the economic damages recoverable under CEPA are not capped under New Jersey law, so you are entitled to recover the full and fair amount to which you are entitled.
FAQ: What if I am an independent contractor, rather than a common-law employee? Am I entitled to protections under CEPA?
Yes. Under federal whistleblower protection acts, it has been less than clear whether independent contractors were protected. As a result, New Jersey has clearly stated that CEPA applies equally to both independent contractors and subcontractors to provide even stronger protections in the whistleblower context.