New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA)
New Jersey law strongly encourages employees of all employers – both public and private – to come forward when their employer is breaking the law, committing fraud, or violating a compelling public policy of either the state, local or federal governments.
When people come forward by refusing to participate in, objecting to, or disclosing or threatening to disclose such conduct, we call them “whistleblowers.” We should also call them “heroes.” Being a whistleblower is often one of the most traumatic, stressful, thankless and dangerous things an employee can do, especially in a tough economy when it’s not so easy to get another job. A person has to really wrestle with his or her conscience when deciding whether or not to object to, refuse to participate in, or disclose conduct that is illegal, fraudulent or that violates public policy.
When those employees make the right decision, they have protection under the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act, commonly called New Jersey’s “whistleblower statute.”
The statute prohibits not only adverse job actions such as wrongful discharge, termination, demotion or transfer in retaliation for whistleblowing, but the statute also protects against “retaliatory harassment.” Retaliatory harassment would be conduct that is hostile, or intimidating, or abusive, and which is “because of” that person’s status as a whistleblower.
CEPA allows for the recovery of compensatory and punitive damages, attorneys’ fees paid by the company permitting the retaliatory conduct, and can also involve equitable remedies such as reinstatement, back pay and front pay.
The New Jersey employment rights law firm of Costello & Mains, LLC, has recovered millions of dollars for clients who are victims of whistleblower retaliation over the years. Kevin Costello has obtained multimillion-dollar verdicts for whistleblowers in court. We know how to expose the lie that whistleblowers are told when they’re fired, we know how to debunk the excuses the employer offers, and we know how to protect the whistleblowers for their heroism.