Articles Tagged with CEPA

Published on:

whistle.jpg

New Jersey’s Conscientious Employee Protection Act (“CEPA”) is one of New Jersey’s employment protection laws. The Act, enacted in 1986, is often referred to as the “whistleblower law.” In fact, it is one of the most liberally interpreted and expansive whistleblower laws in the country. It protects employees from being fired in retaliation for the employee’s disclosure of or objection to a wrongful practice of the business or one of the business’s employees.

In order for the statute’s protections to apply, the employee must disclose, object to, or refuse to participate in an act, policy, or practice of the employer which the employee reasonably believes violates a law, regulation, or public policy. Further, the employee must be fired, harassed, or otherwise retaliated against as a direct result of the disclosure, objection, or refusal. The employee does not even have to be right about her belief that the conduct is illegal or against public policy to be protected by the act. The employee merely has to have a reasonable belief of such.

CEPA includes in its definition of “employer” any individual, partnership, association, corporation or any person or group of persons acting directly or indirectly on behalf of or in the interest of an employer with the employer’s consent.
Continue reading

Published on:

New Jersey has several “tracks” for a government employee who is in civil service to fight when he believes he was wrongfully fired. The first, is in the Civil Service Commission, which can order reinstatement and back-pay. However, this process goes through the Office of Administrative Law and does not provide for a jury trial. The other way is to challenge the firing in the Superior Court, with the constitutional right to have a jury decide the employee’s case. Some statutes, such as the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and the Conscientious Employee Protection Acts, provide for the award of punitive damages and attorneys fees.

The Conscientious Employee Protection Act (“CEPA”) is New Jersey’s whistleblower law. It protects whistleblowing employees. Employers may not retaliate in any way, whether through firing, harassment, demotion, or in any other manner because the employee has disclosed, objected to, refused to participate in or threatened to disclose a violation of law or public policy regarding public safety, or fraudulent acts. N.J.S.A. 34:19-1.

The New Jersey law had been that an employee could challenge his termination in the Civil Service Commission on the fact that the employer did not have a basis to discharge him, but not be foreclosed from also filing a whistleblower lawsuit under CEPA in Superior Court if she did not raise the retaliatory action before the Civil Service Commission.

The New Jersey Supreme Court, generally is one of the most protective courts of employees rights in the country, was recently issued an opinion by his employer which should give civil servants concern.
Continue reading