Have you Been Retaliated Against or a Whistleblower at Work? Contact us today.

Employees who report unlawful activities, who participate in investigations into their employers, or who take advantage of benefits such as Workers’ Compensation or family leave are protected from workplace retaliation by federal and state law. Workplace retaliation is defined as any adverse action or inaction that puts an employee at a disadvantage, and if you believe that you’re a victim of this type of prohibited retaliation, we can help.

New Jersey state laws encourage employees to report unethical or illegal acts, including harassment, fraud or discrimination in the workplace, and offer cooperating employees both financial rewards for doing so. Employers are legally barred from punishing employees who participate in whistleblowing or anti-discrimination actions and are similarly prohibited from taking adverse actions against those who take advantage of benefits to which they are entitled.Unfortunately, there are employers who either subtly or overtly exact this type of punishment in various ways, including:

• Suspension or termination
• Creating a hostile work environment
• Failing to provide an expected, promised or deserved promotion
• Demotion without cause
• Reduction of pay without cause
• Reduction of working hours
• Reassignment of schedule to one that is less desirable, or which creates conflict for the employee
• Reassignment of work responsibilities to those that are less desirable

These retaliations are prohibited in many different scenarios and by several laws, including:

The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination – The NJLAD was passed for the specific purpose of protecting employees from workplace discrimination. It’s language states that “the Legislature intended victims of discrimination to obtain redress from mental anguish, embarrassment and the like, without limitation to severe emotional or physical ailments,” and also goes beyond that detail to address retaliation. It states that it is illegal “for any person to take reprisals against any person because that person has opposed any practices or acts forbidden … [by the LAD],” or for an employer “to coerce, intimidate, threaten or interfere with any person in the exercise or enjoyment of, or on account of that person having aided or encouraged any other person in the exercise or enjoyment of, any right granted or protected by this act.” In plain English, this means that employees are protected from having their employer take action against them for complaining about either workplace discrimination or harassment against them or against another.

New Jersey’s Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) – CEPA is one of the broadest and most powerful whistleblower protection statutes in the United States. CEPA protects employees who “blow the whistle” on their employer. Blowing the whistle includes complaining about or refusing to participate in activities of the employer or co-workers which the employee reasonably believes to be in violation of law or public policy. Blowing the whistle also includes reporting activities which the employee reasonably believes to be in violation of law or public policy to appropriate outside agencies. CEPA protects employees from being retaliated against as a result of blowing the whistle. This includes not only retaliatory termination, but also retaliatory demotions, transfers, salary reductions, disciplinary actions, harassment, bullying, and other adverse actions. If you suffer consequences for reporting, complaining about or refusing to participate in activities you reasonably believe to be illegal, you are protected by CEPA.

Workers’ Compensation Act – Workers’ Compensation is a benefit that is provided under the Workers’ Compensation Act for the benefit of employees who are injured in the workplace. It is a form of no-fault insurance that provides them the ability to report an on-the-job injury and to receive compensation for medical expenses and treatment, as well as lost wages. The law prohibits employers from taking action against employees for filing this type of claim, saying that it is “unlawful for any employer … to discharge or in any other manner discriminate against an employee as to his employment because such employee has claimed or attempted to claim workmen’s compensation benefits…” The law’s specific remedy is the filing of a civil lawsuit in Superior Court. Employees who are retaliated against for filing a workers compensation claim often also have a disability discrimination under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.

Family Medical Leave Act/NJ Family Leave Act – These federal and state laws provide employees specific benefits, and each contains language that prohibits either interference with their ability to take advantage of the benefit, or retaliation against those who do take advantage of the benefit.

Anti-retaliation language was added to each of these important laws for the specific purpose of protecting workers, but that has not stopped many employers from either subtly or overtly acting against workers. If you have sought either a legally-provided benefit or pursued actions in furtherance of maintaining an ethical and lawful workplace and feel that as a result you are being retaliated against, we can help. Contact our office today to learn about your rights and put an experienced, proactive advocate on your side.

Contact Schorr & Associates for a free initial consultation About Your Sexual Harassment Claim.



Conscientious Employee (CEPA) Retaliation – Easley v. New Jersey Department of Correction. The jury found that the Department of Corrections retaliated against the employee after she cooperated with the FBI and testified before the Grand Jury regarding extortion by the Department’s Deputy Commissioner.


Disability Discrimination (Owens v. NJ Dept of Treasury) – Settlement – Department of Treasury worker suffered permanent vocal chord paralysis after the Department refused to accommodate her laryngitis.


National Origin Discrimination (JG v. Camden) – Settlement – Hispanic Schoolchildren alleged that they were forced to eat on the gym floor without plates while non-Hispanic children were permitted to sit at table and eat off plates.


CEPA verdict (Still v. Orkin, Inc.) – Jury found exterminator was terminated in retaliation for refusing to apply insecticide in an unlawful manner.

Contact Schorr & Associates, the NJ employment lawyers, today for more information.