Filing a Whistleblower or Retaliation Claim in New Jersey
If you believe that you have been retaliated against in the workplace, you may want to know how to file a claim. Retaliation is a very serious matter that takes place when an employer tries to punish you for engaging in a legally protected activity. Say, for instance, that you file a claim against an employer and they demote, discipline, fire, or reassign you on the job. If an employer takes any negative action against you after your claim then you can file a retaliation claim in New Jersey and hopefully stand up for your rights. Retaliation is illegal and every employee gets a say!
How Do I File?
This is the common question on any employee’s mind when they believe that they have been retaliated against by an employer. An employer is not permitted to discharge an employee for a reason that violates a clear mandate of public policy, and you should always remember this. However, the courts in New Jersey have the discretion to determine what constitutes public policy. They will look into statutes, constitutional provisions, regulations, judicial decisions, and much more. In many situations, you as a New Jersey employee will be protected from retaliatory discharge.
The State of New Jersey has also adopted statutory protections for certain activities. This includes a whistleblower protection statute known as the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) to help those who have spoken up for their rights in the workplace. Employees who engage in protected activities such as discrimination, family leave, hazardous substances, minimum wage, occupational health and safety, and more will be protected from retaliation under any circumstances.
If you feel as if you should file a whistleblower or retaliation claim in New Jersey, you can do so in the appropriate court. However, you must remember that there are time constraints on these types of suits and so it must be filed within 2 years of the retaliatory action. If you believe you have a claim, your first step should always be to contact a lawyer because they can help you through the complicated parts. This is where we come in, ready to assist you in your time of need. For general whistleblower protections under CEPA, an employee must find the appropriate court and file the retaliatory action claim within a year. They may be able to receive reinstatement, recovery of lost wages, and reinstatement of full fringe benefits. The employer, however, may receive a civil fine as well as punitive damages.
If discrimination occurred in the workplace, an employee must file a signed, written complaint with the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights. However, this must be filed within 180 days of the retaliatory action. Furthermore, if there is an Occupational Health and Safety complaint, it must be filed with the Department of Labor within 180 days.
The truth is, retaliatory action is taken far too often against an employee. Because of this, you may need an experienced attorney on your side to help you in your time of need. If you have been retaliated against, have questions, or just want to know where and how to file, call us today. We care about your case and want to help.