You don’t need to work in the White House to be a whistleblower. Many states have their own statutes that protect workers from retaliation if they report wrongdoing or lawbreaking. For example, the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (“CEPA”: N.J.S.A. §34:19-1 et seq.) prohibits an employer from taking “any retaliatory action against an employee” who:
- Reports or threatens to report to a supervisor or public body any activity, policy, practice, or relationship that the employee “reasonably believes” was in violation of a law, rule, or regulation;
- Reports or threatens to report to a supervisor or public body any activity that the employee reasonably believes to be fraudulent or criminal;
- Participates in an investigation of their employer or testifies in a hearing against their employer for any potentially illegal conduct; or
- Objects to or refuses to participate in any activity, policy, or practice that the employee reasonably believes to be illegal, fraudulent, criminal, or in clear violation of public policy.
Similar statutes are in place in New York to protect whistleblowers, including additional protections for whistleblower actions taken against conduct that poses a “danger to public health or safety.”
People who make sure that their employers are operating within the law should be commended, not fired, suspended, intimidated or demoted. If you believe you’ve suffered retaliatory action for protected whistleblower activity, please call or contact Matsikoudis & Fanciullo. We can consult with you for free and help determine if you should bring a case.