You have the right to complain about your employer’s or a co-worker’s unlawful conduct. When an employee makes such a complaint they are regarded as a “whistleblower.” In New Jersey the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) offers the whistleblower protection. In order to be a whistleblower under CEPA you must have a reasonable belief that the complained of activity is in violation of a recognized rule, law, regulation or mandate of public policy.
Some examples of whistleblowing include, but are not limited to, complaining about any of the following:
- Sexual Harassment
- Workplace violence
- OSHA violations
- Fraudulent billing
- Unsanitary conditions
- Patient abuse
- The Employer’s failure to provide a reasonable accommodation
- The Employer’s failure to comply with industry specific regulations
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY EMPLOYER HAS VIOLATED CEPA?
CEPA makes it unlawful for an employer to retaliate against you for your whistleblowing activity. When an employer retaliates against you it is called an “adverse employment action.” Examples of an adverse employment action include, but are not limited to:
- Significant changes in your job duties
- Unwarranted disciplines
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE A WHISTLE BLOWER CASE?
In order to show that your employer has retaliated against you for your whistleblowing activity, you must establish:
1. That you reasonably believed that your employer’s conduct was violating either a law or rule or regulation promulgated pursuant to law;
2. That you blew the whistle as described in CEPA;
3. That an adverse employment action was taken against you; and
4. That a casual connection exists between the whistleblowing activity and the adverse employment action.
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO BRING A CEPA LAWSUIT?
The Statute of Limitations for a CEPA claim is one year from the date of the adverse employment action. For example, if your employer retaliates against you by demoting you, then you must sue the employer within one year of being demoted.