New Jersey CEPA Lawyers Help Whistleblowers Win Compensation for Retaliation
Westfield attorneys pursue remedies under the NJ Conscientious Employee Protection Act
It takes courage to come forward and report criminal or otherwise wrongful activity you discover at the place where you work. Due to the important function whistleblowers serve in rooting out corporate misconduct, federal and state laws are in force to protect them from retaliation. At Cashdan & Kane, PLLC in Westfield, NJ, we help whistleblowers take full advantage of the remedies provided by the NJ Conscientious Employees Protection Act (CEPA).
What is the Conscientious Employee Protection Act?
The Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) prohibits New Jersey employers from taking adverse action against employees who disclose illegal, fraudulent or unsafe activities, policies or practices they learn of at their jobs. CEPA supplements other New Jersey laws protecting workers, such as the NJ Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), NJ Wage and Hour Law (NJWHL) and NJ Family Leave Act (NJFLA). While these laws impose specific requirements concerning compensation, benefits and fair treatment and provide remedies for violations, CEPA allows employees to seek damages and other remedies if they have suffered retaliation for reporting any violations of law they might observe.
What activities does CEPA protect from retaliation?
CEPA applies if you face adverse action by your employer for doing any of the following:
- Telling or threatening to tell your supervisor, or any federal, state or local governmental agency, about an activity, policy or practice that you reasonably believe violates any law
- Providing information or testimony in a public agency’s investigation, hearing or inquiry into a violation of law
- Revealing attempts to deceive shareholders, clients, customers, present or former employees or pensioners of your employer or a government entity
- Objecting to or refusing to engage in any activity, policy or practice that is illegal, fraudulent or violative of a public policy that protects the public health, safety or welfare or the environment
If you’re a health care professional, CEPA protects you if you engaged in any of the listed actions in order to prevent improper patient care.
CEPA applies even if your employer is an independent contractor of the company that committed the wrongful activity. You’re protected from retaliation in any of the following circumstances:
- You brought the wrongful activity, policy or practice to your supervisor’s attention
- One or more supervisors of your employer is already aware of it
- The situation is an emergency and you fear physical harm if you disclose it
We will review your situation in detail and determine if you qualify for CEPA protection.
What employer actions are prohibited and what compensation and other remedies are available?
Your employer may not punish you for your CEPA-protected actions by taking adverse actions such as these:
- Wrongful termination
- Pay cuts
- Refusal to give you a promotion or pay raise
- Hostile work environment
If you prevail with your CEPA claim, you may be entitled to any or all of the following:
- Reinstatement to your rightful position and benefits
- Damages for lost wages, benefits and other financial loss
- Punitive damages in particularly egregious cases
- Attorney fees and legal costs
As your advocate, we will zealously seek all remedies available in your case.
CEPA claims for refusing dangerous or illegal orders
CEPA also applies if you face retaliation for refusing to engage in activity that violates a safety-related law or public policy. That includes any violation of the federal OSHA law, which also provides remedies from retaliation. We will work diligently to avail you of the full protections of state and federal law.
Contact a dedicated New Jersey employment attorney for your CEPA claim
Cashdan & Kane, PLLC offers effective representation to New Jersey workers in the enforcement of whistleblower protections and remedies available under CEPA. Call us at 908-264-9331 or contact us online to schedule an appointment at our Westfield office.