New Jersey Employment Attorney
Whistleblowing and Retaliation Cases
The term “whistleblower” often describes an employee who reports violations of the law by his or her employer. There are laws on a federal and state level that have been created to protect employees from retaliation, harassment or any adverse actions by employers for reporting violations of the law. These laws also protect employees from being unfairly terminated from their position or being forced to quit through constructive discharge. Constructive discharge is the act of an employer to make working conditions intolerable to the point where an employee is forced to quit his or her job. We are here to protect those individuals who have the courage and constitution to report violations of the law to his or her employer.
If/when you have information that your employer is violating laws or regulations, or if you feel that your employer is causing danger to public health and safety, you may feel obligated to report this information. If you do so, then you may be considered a whistleblower. The good news here is that there are many state and federal laws in place that protect will protect you from retaliation.
Many violations of the law, and many dangers to public health and safety, go unreported because people who know about them are afraid of retaliation. As our livelihoods are dependent on our jobs, the fear of losing a job can be all encompassing. Whenever the law provides a remedy for victims of retaliation, it encourages employees to come forward with evidence that will make our world safer, healthier and more just.
TIME FRAME FOR FILING A RETALIATION CLAIM
Meeting applicable deadline(s) to file a lawsuit is critical to bringing a successful retaliation claim. If not timely filed within the “Statute of Limitations,” employment lawsuits, like other types of claims, are subject to dismissal. Statutes of limitations have been enacted for all causes of action in order to “promote repose by giving security and stability to human affairs.” Caravaggio v. D’Agostini, 166 N.J. 237, 245 A (2001)(quoting Wood v. Carpenter, 101 U.S. 135, 139 (1879)). The New Jersey Superior Court filing deadline for whistleblower retaliation claims under the statute is one year from the accrual date.
Whistleblower and Retaliation Claims: The New Jersey Conscientious Employee Act (“CEPA”) Laws (the statutory provisions governing whistleblower and retaliation claims) in the state of New Jersey strongly encourages employees of all employers, (both public and private), to come forward and step in when their employer is violating the law, engaging in fraud, or breaking a pervasive public policy of either the state, local or federal governments. People are moved and encouraged by employees who are ready to come forth and stop wrongdoing or those employers who are consciously breaking the law or public policy. We are here to help you with sound legal advice and the skills, experience, and tenacity to help you fight for what is right. You will be compensated accordingly for this display of courage and fortitude.
- The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination is a far reaching and broad based law that provides a wide net of protection for citizens in the state of New Jersey. This law is in place to kill the malignancy of discrimination of any kind. The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination states as follows:
- “All persons shall have the opportunity to obtain employment, and to obtain all the accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges of any place of public accommodation, publicly assisted housing accommodation, and other real property without discrimination because of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, affectional or sexual orientation, familial status, disability, nationality, sex, gender identity or expression or source of lawful income used for rental or mortgage payments, subject only to conditions and limitations applicable alike to all persons. This opportunity is recognized as and declared to be a civil right.” (N.J.S.A. §10:5-4).
- The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“NJLAD”) protects employees against retaliatory action brought by employers. The NJLAD only applies, however, in instances where the retaliation is for an employee’s “protected activity.” The law provides two main categories of activities that are protected: opposing illegal practices or acts, such as discrimination, and filing complaints or assisting in the proceedings related to illegal practices or acts.
- The NJLAD also provides for protection to those who report or aid and assist a victim of discrimination advance their claim. Nobody may be terminated, retaliatory discharged, wrongfully discharged, demoted or be subjected to any adverse employment action because of his or her support of someone who is asserting a claim under the NJLAD.
- You might not view yourself as a "whistleblower" when you give aid, support or encouragement to those individuals who are asserting their claims under the NJLAD. However, you are ultimately doing the right thing. Thus, you deserve the protection that the NJLAD can afford you.
Qui Tam Whistleblowers: If you have firsthand knowledge that a company or organization is defrauding the government through false claims we recommend not discussing the status of the case contacting us immediately.
A Qui Tam action (The False Claims Act) typically begins when an employee in the work place notices that something is not being done as it should. Consider the following examples:
- A medical provider’s bookkeeper discovers two sets of books reporting into the Medicare Program - one for internal use noted to be confidential and one to report to the government.
- A pharmaceutical sales representative discovers the illegal practice of its company offering illegal financial kickback to physicians in exchange for the partisan prescribing of certain company drugs.
Whistleblowers, also referred to as "relators," may be any private citizen, including former employees, subcontractors, or competitors. It is critical that people who know about the misuse of federal dollars step forward to put an end to the corruption.
The False Claims Act and similar state laws protect those who report fraud against the government. The Act also provides financial incentives for citizens to hire attorneys and come forward, awarding whistleblowers a share of the proceeds - between 15 and 30% of the government's total recovery through qui tam litigation.
The government depends upon the involvement of its citizens to expose wrongdoers. Whistleblower cases are actions of good citizenship. Over 80% of qui tam cases currently investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice were initiated by whistleblowers.
A corporation may defraud the government in several ways, including billing for products or services that were never fulfilled, or providing the government with defective products. The most consistent offenders have been defense contractors, the health care industry, pharmaceutical giants, and research institutions.
The list of violations can include the following: Medical fraud and medical insurance fraud; healthcare fraud, food and safety violations; violations of workplace safety and misuse of government grants. We are here to stand in your shoes and fight for your rights in a Qui Tam action.
WHY I’M THE RIGHT LAWYER TO HELP YOU WITH YOUR WHISTLEBLOWING / RETALIATION CASE
People that find themselves in these positions are often terrified. The fear of retaliation and the potential implications of losing one’s job can be overwhelming. Having a conversation with me is the first step in permanently eliminating your fear and anxiety, and moving forward in your career. You can have the confidence of knowing that in addition to being a person who cares about your well being, I have extensive experience in this area of law, whether your case is settled out of court or ultimately goes to trial.
Working in a smaller firm enables me to provide you with the highest levels of professionalism and expertise, and two critical things that a medium-sized or large firm generally doesn’t offer:
- Compassion, empathy, and unparalleled accessibility
Trust me when I tell you that I am tenacious. I will not stop until I deliver the optimal results that you deserve, and more importantly, free you from any stress that you are feeling as a result of the circumstance you are in.
But don’t just take it from me: Click here to read testimonials from my employment law clients.
WHERE DO I PRACTICE EMPLOYMENT LAW?
My office is based in Livingston, NJ. I serve all New Jersey Counties including Essex, Morris, Bergen, Passaic, Hudson, Sussex, Warren, Union, Middlesex, Ocean, Monmouth and any other county I am needed.
In short, I won’t let geography stand in the way of helping you, and I’m more than ready to take your case! I’ll travel to where you need me. If you’d like to schedule a free appointment, click here, or call me now at (973)-315-3232