Retaliation and Whistleblower Claims
Many people are reluctant to report an employer’s unlawful or unethical behavior or even discrimination or harassment in the workplace , for fear of retaliation. Under New Jersey law, however, employers are not permitted to take adverse actions against employees for exercising their legal rights. As a result, if an employer unlawfully retaliates against an employee, the employee may be able to pursue damages in a civil lawsuit. If you believe that you were a victim of retaliation in the workplace, you should speak to an attorney regarding your potential claims. The New Jersey retaliation lawyers at the Resnick Law Group are adept at proving that employers should be held liable for wrongfully retaliating against their employees. We will vigorously advocate on your behalf to help you seek a successful result. We assist people in employment cases in both New Jersey and New York.Elements of a Retaliation Claim
There are several laws that protect New Jersey employees from retaliation for exercising their legal rights, such as the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD). Under the NJLAD, employers are prohibited from taking retaliatory actions against an employee for reporting discrimination or pursuing a discrimination claim. If an employer violates the anti-discrimination provisions of the NJLAD, the employee may be able to pursue a retaliation claim against the employer. To prove retaliation under the NJLAD, an employee must first establish that he or she was engaged in a protected activity and that the defendant was aware of the activity. An employee engages in a protected activity when he or she reports discrimination or harassment or objects to any activity deemed unlawful under the NJLAD. The plaintiff and a retaliation attorney in New Jersey must then show that the employer took an adverse employment action against the plaintiff and that there was a causal link between the adverse action and the protected activity. Adverse employment actions are not limited to termination but can include a reduction in job duties, a demotion, a reduction in pay, or a reprimand, among other negative consequences.Elements of a Whistleblower Claim
Under New Jersey law, "whistleblowing" generally refers to objecting to, reporting, or refusing to participate in an activity that is reasonably believed (whether correct or not) to be unlawful or in violation of public policy. Numerous laws protect New Jersey employees from retaliation for engaging in whistleblowing activity, including the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA). For an employee to establish that an employer retaliated against the employee in violation of CEPA, the employee must show that he or she reasonably believed that the employer violated a law, regulation, rule, or clear mandate of public policy and that the employee engaged in whistleblowing by reporting the activity. The employee and their New Jersey retaliation attorney must also show an adverse employment action and a causal connection between the adverse action and the whistleblowing activity. Notably, the statute of limitations for pursuing a CEPA whistleblower claim is one year from the date of the adverse employment action, which is shorter than many other limitations periods.Damages Recoverable in Retaliation and Whistleblower Claims
If an employee can prove that his or her rights under the NJLAD or CEPA were violated, he or she may be awarded a variety of damages, including lost wages and the value of lost benefits. If the employer's actions were especially egregious, the court may impose punitive damages on the employer as well.Meet with a Skillful Employment Attorney in New Jersey
Employees should be able to report unlawful activity in the workplace without fear of retribution. If your employer retaliated against you for reporting unlawful activity, you should meet with an attorney to discuss your rights. The skillful employment attorneys at the Resnick Law Group will advise you on your options for seeking compensation and assist you in striving to hold your employer accountable. Our retaliation lawyers assist New Jersey employees in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Passaic, Somerset, Morris, Union, Warren, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Sussex, and Hunterdon Counties. We have a second office in Manhattan, and we regularly represent people in employment cases in New York City and in Westchester and Rockland Counties. We can be reached through our online form or by calling us at our New Jersey office at (973) 781-1204 or at our New York office at (646) 867-7997 to schedule a conference.