The New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA)
How It Protects Whistleblowers From Retaliation
In addition to federal laws, there are protections at the state level to shield whistleblowers from workplace retaliation. Their effectiveness varies by state, but the law in New Jersey is one of the strongest.
Protected Activities Under the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act
The New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) bars employers from retaliating against an employee who engages in whistleblower activities that are protected under the law. These activities could include:
- Objecting to unlawful behavior on the part of your employer or an entity that does business with your employer.
- Refusing to participate in unlawful behavior in the workplace.
- Reporting unlawful behavior to a supervisor or outside governing body.
- Participating in an investigation regarding unlawful behavior.
- Testifying with regard to unlawful behavior.
- Disclosing or threatening to disclose unlawful behavior.
How To Qualify for Protection Under CEPA
Under this law, whistleblowers don’t need to know the exact legal statute their employer is breaking in order to qualify for whistleblower protections. They just need to have a reasonable belief that their employer is violating the law.
This law applies to employees of both public and private-sector employers, including healthcare professionals who object to, refuse to participate in, or tell a supervisor or outside organization about substandard patient care at a healthcare facility.
Unlike many state-level whistleblower laws, the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act also protects employees who work outside the state and bring a whistleblower claim against an organization with headquarters in New Jersey.
Possible Damages Available Under the Law
Under the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act, you may be awarded compensation if your employer is judged to have unlawfully retaliated against you.
Possible damages include lost wages and benefits, reinstatement to your previous job, punitive damages, and compensation for emotional distress. Your employer may also be held liable for your attorney’s fees.
If You’re Experiencing Workplace Retaliation, Speak To an Employment Attorney
If your employer has fired you, demoted you, or retaliated against you in other ways for objecting to, refusing to participate in, or reporting unlawful behavior, you may be entitled to compensation under the law.
A knowledgeable employment attorney can assess the situation, determine whether your rights have been violated, and help hold your employer accountable.
Call us at 267-273-1054 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free, confidential consultation today.
The information provided here does not constitute legal advice. It is intended for general purposes only. If you have questions about a specific legal issue, you should speak to an attorney.