Whistleblowing and Retaliation
What is a Whistleblower?
Whistleblowers are employees who report unsafe or unlawful practices that occur in the workplace.Read More
If I Am Successful In A Whistleblower Claim, What Am I Entitled To?
Employees who shed light on wrongdoing by their employer are protected under state and federal law, and can receive:
- Reinstatement to their position;
- Back pay; and
- In some cases, a portion of whatever funds government officials recoup from the offending employer.
If I Speak Out About Misconduct By My Employer, Can I Be Terminated?
No. Employees who voice concerns about unsafe work conditions or object to illegal business practices cannot be fired on the basis of those complaints.
Known as whistleblowers, these workers are shielded from wrongful discharge by the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA). Under the CEPA, employees are protected from retaliation such as demotion or termination after speaking out about misconduct by their employer.
What Actions are Covered as Whistleblowing?
Under CEPA, employers cannot retaliate against employees who:
- Inform a supervisor or the public about an illegal activity, policy, or practice
- Provide information or testifies during an investigation, hearing, or inquiry involving the employer
- Provide information that the employer deceived or misrepresented a shareholder, client, investor, or patient
- Provide information about an activity on behalf of the employer that they believe to be illegal
- Object to, or refuse to participate in, an activity, policy, or practice that they believe is illegal or against the best interest of public health or safety
Are Whistleblowers Protected from Retaliation?
Yes. The New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) protects employees who come forward to report illegal and fraudulent activities their employer commits. CEPA is frequently referred to as New Jersey’s “Whistleblower Act” and prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who report such activity.Read More
Can I Blow the Whistle Anonymously?
Courts generally want lawsuits to be transparent to the public and complete anonymity is not always possible. However whistleblowers are protected in other ways: Under CEPA and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), employees who report unsafe or illegal activity in the workplace are protected from discrimination and retaliation.Read More
Is Your Post Considered Concerted Activity?
Employees (union and nonunion) who share information in an effort to improve their working conditions are protected under The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). This is considered “protected concerted activity” because it is for the “purpose of negotiating the terms and conditions of their employment or other mutual aid or protection.” www.nlrb.gov.
Examples of protected concerted activity may include employees discussing their concerns about salary or working conditions or employees wearing political buttons or shirts referring to a topic protected by the NLRA, such as “X candidate favors improved healthcare.”Read More
Is Your Speech Protected if You are a Whistleblower?
The New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) protects whistleblowers who speak out about their employer’s potential legal violations. www.nj.gov. CEPA prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who have complained about a practice that the employee reasonably believes is unlawful or indisputably dangerous to the public health, safety or welfare. Several federal whistleblower laws also protect employees from disclosing fraud such as the False Claims Act.