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Discovering that an employer is participating in illegal or unethical business practices can be an intimidating experience for any worker, especially if he or she is asked to condone, help obscure, or participate in that illicit activity to keep their job. In the interest of protecting workers who choose to “blow the whistle” on such behavior, both federal and state laws prohibit employer retaliation against whistleblowers and employers who participate in investigations into alleged misconduct.
If you faced disciplinary action at work because of your refusal to engage in illegal behavior or your role in investigating or reporting such conduct, a Cherry Hill whistleblower lawyer may be able to help you. By working with a seasoned employment law attorney from our firm, you may be able to hold your boss liable for his or her retaliatory actions against you and pursue fair restitution for any damages you suffered as a result.
Legal Protections for Whistleblowers in Cherry Hill
The New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) is the primary piece of whistleblowing legislation applicable to workers in our area. Under this Act, an employee cannot take punitive or retaliatory action against a worker who engages in any of the following protected actions:
- Refusing to participate in activity he or she earnestly believes to be illegal or improper
- Reporting or threatening to report fraudulent and/or illegal activity to a supervisor, public body, or law enforcement authority
- Publicly disclosing or threatening to publicly disclose improper patient care in a healthcare facility
- Testifying before or providing information to any public body performing an investigation into alleged criminal activity by an employer
It is not necessary to prove that the behavior he or she blew the whistle on actually constituted a criminal or fraudulent act. Instead, an employee and his or her attorney must establish with a preponderance of evidence that his or her employer violated CEPA regulations to be successful in a local whistleblower claim.
Filing a Claim for Whistleblower Retaliation
Depending on the circumstances, a worker who experienced retaliation for whistleblowing may be able to file suit against his or her boss under CEPA or under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAW). The latter piece of legislation generally applies to workers who blow the whistle on protected class discrimination, whereas the former typically covers cases involving forgery, fraud, and other types of criminal activity.
In either case, an aggrieved employee must prove that the adverse action brought against him or her by an employer was in direct response to protected whistleblower activity in order for his or her claim to be successful. If a Cherry Hill whistleblower lawyer can show that a worker’s boss engaged in unlawful retaliation after he or she blew the whistle on illicit activity, he or she may be able obtain restitution in the form of job reinstatement, compensatory and punitive damages, attorneys’ fees, and more.
Consider Speaking with a Cherry Hill Whistleblower Attorney
Blowing the whistle on illegal workplace behavior takes a lot of courage, and anyone brave enough to undertake this kind of action should not face adverse treatment from employers as a result. Accordingly, if your boss retaliated against you in violation of CEPA, NJLAW, or any other legislation meant to protect whistleblowers, filing a lawsuit against them may be in your best interests.
Once retained, a qualified Cherry Hill whistleblower lawyer could help you understand your legal options, identify how to best protect your rights, and pursue compensation for your losses. Call today to schedule your initial consultation.