New Jersey Whistleblower Laws

Whistleblower laws are meant to protect public and/or private employees from being retaliated against for reporting illegal or unsafe activities to the proper authorities. For example, an employee who reports systemic pollution violations to the state may be protected by whistleblower laws, which means he or she may sue for any retaliation that occurs as a result.

New Jersey Whistleblower Laws

In New Jersey, both public and private employees 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 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.

The main provisions of New Jersey's whistleblower laws are listed in the chart below. See Whistleblower Retaliation Could Land You in Trouble in FindLaw's Small Business Law section to learn more.

Code Section 34:19-1, et seq.
Prohibited Employer Activity Can not discharge, suspend, demote, or take other retaliatory action if employee discloses or threatens to disclose an activity, policy, or practice of employer or other, with whom there's a business relationship, testify or object to or refuse to participate if action violates law, rule is fraudulent or criminal or incompatible with clear mandate concerning public health, safety, welfare, or protection of the environment
Protection for Public or Private Employees? Both
Opportunity for Employer to Correct? Must bring violation to attention of a supervisor and afford a reasonable opportunity to correct, unless violation is known to supervisor or employee reasonably fears physical harm as a result of disclosure and situation is an emergency in nature
Remedies Can file civil action within one year of incident and receive all remedies available in civil law torts including injunction, reinstatement, reinstate full benefits and seniority rights, back pay and benefits, reasonable court and attorney's fees, punitive damages
Penalties Civil fine, maximum $1,000 for first violation and maximum of $5,000 for each subsequent violation

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a New Jersey whisleblower attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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