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Does New Jersey law prohibit retaliation for whistleblowing?

On Behalf of | Apr 9, 2020 | Employee Rights |

Everyone hopes to find a rewarding career and a place where they can work and feel pride in what they do. There are instances in which workers find themselves in a dilemma, though. One such instance is if an employee finds out that some type of impropriety is going on at their place of employment. It can take a lot of courage for workers to step up and report the activities.

Deciding to become a whistleblower can be very scary. There is always a fear of retaliation on the part of employers. Fortunately, there are laws in place here in New Jersey that prohibit employers from taking retaliatory actions against whistleblowers.

State law prohibits employers from threatening to or taking retaliatory action against employees who disclose any potentially unlawful activities. It doesn’t matter whether the worker has threatened to report a colleague’s impropriety or their employer’s. Both are protecting activities under state whistleblower statutes.

An employee is protected from retaliatory action if they testify about their employer or colleagues’ potential illicit activities before an investigative body. Employees are also shielded from retaliatory measures if they disclose information about employer deception to any employee, shareholder, investor, customer or government body.

It’s unlawful for an employer to take retaliatory action against an employee that refuses to or objects to engaging in fraudulent, unethical or criminal activity. Workers must provide their supervisor with written notice of their concerns first, though, so that they can correct the issue before they’ll be afforded retaliatory protection.

An employee doesn’t have to meet this requirement if one or more supervisors already know about the issue, the employee fears physical harm or it’s an emergency concern.

Many employees in New Jersey witness impropriety in the workplace every day. However, they don’t dare to stand up for what they believe is right.

You should consult with an attorney if you’ve witnessed your employer or colleague engaging in illicit activities. They can let you know what type of evidence is needed to strengthen your case and aid you in filing a suit aimed at holding those negligent accountable for their actions.