Wrongful Termination, Retaliation And Whistleblower Rights
A wrongful termination or discharge occurs when an employer fires an employee for an impermissible or illegal reason. In New Jersey, this broadly means for a violation of a contract or a public policy as contained in various statutes, regulations and court rulings. For employees it may be difficult to know if a termination was “wrongful” or merely unfair because many jobs are “at-will,” meaning the employee can be fired or quit for any reason or no reason.
The attorneys at Selikoff & Cohen, P.A., are experienced with examining the facts of these situations and advising employees as to their rights and whether they have a viable case of wrongful discharge. It is important to speak with a lawyer if you believe the facts of your termination would support a lawsuit, as you may have a limited time in which to file your case.
Retaliation occurs when an employer engages in conduct to “punish” or disadvantage an employee for exercising a protected activity. For instance, if you are injured and make a workers’ compensation claim and your employer retaliates by reducing your hours, demoting you or firing you, you may have a retaliation claim.
Claims of workplace retaliation can be complex and require the employer to violate a law or public policy, not simply treat you unfairly. Our attorneys can review your situation and help determine if the employer action was employment retaliation.
When an employee reports an employer for violation of a state or federal law or for unethical behavior, their conduct is referred to as whistleblowing. New Jersey’s whistleblower statute, or the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (NJCEPA), protects employees from retaliation or adverse action by employers.
Whistleblowing retaliation differs from other types of retaliation because the conduct reported must violate a law or public policy. Additionally, the employee must report the conduct to a supervisor of the employer first. If you find yourself in a situation where you believe a law or policy was violated or are asked to violate a law or policy, you should contact one of our attorneys for guidance in how to comply with the NJCEPA and other laws that protect whistleblowing. We can help protect your rights in these complex cases.