What is a Whistleblower Lawsuit?

CEPA/WHISTLEBLOWER CLAIMS

What is the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA)?

The New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act  (CEPA), prohibits an employer the following from firing, demoting, suspending or taking any other retaliatory action against an employee because the employee does the following:

A) Discloses, or threatens to disclose to his supervisor (or someone higher) or to a government agency  an activity, policy or practice of the employer (or another employer, with whom there is a business relationship) that the employee reasonably believes is

(1) In violation of a law, or a rule or regulation,  including any violation involving deception of, or misrepresentation to, any shareholder, investor, client, patient, customer, employee, former employee, retiree or pensioner of the employer or any governmental entity, or, in the case of an employee who is a licensed or certified health care professional, reasonably believes constitutes improper quality of patient care; or

(2) Is fraudulent or criminal, including any activity, policy or practice of deception or misrepresentation which the employee reasonably believes may defraud any shareholder, investor, client, patient, customer, employee, former employee, retiree or pensioner of the employer or any governmental entity;

B) Provides information to, or testifies before any governmental agency  conducting an investigation, hearing or inquiry into any violation of law, or a rule or regulation by the employer (or another employer, with whom there is a business relationship), including any violation involving deception of, or misrepresentation to, any shareholder, investor, client, patient, customer, employee, former employee, retiree or pensioner of the employer or any governmental entity, or, in the case of an employee who is a licensed or certified health care professional, provides information to, or testifies before, any government ageny conducting an investigation, hearing or inquiry into the quality of patient care; or

C) Objects to, or refuses to participate in any activity, policy or practice which the employee reasonably believes:

(1) is in violation of a law, or a rule or regulation, including any violation involving deception of, or misrepresentation to, any shareholder, investor, client, patient, customer, employee, former employee, retiree or pensioner of the employer or any governmental entity, or, if the employee is a licensed or certified health care professional, constitutes improper quality of patient care;

(2) is fraudulent or criminal, including any activity, policy or practice of deception or misrepresentation which the employee reasonably believes may defraud any shareholder, investor, client, patient, customer, employee, former employee, retiree or pensioner of the employer or any governmental entity; or

(3) is incompatible with a clear mandate of public policy concerning the public health, safety or welfare or protection of the environment.

CEPA Written Notice Requirement to Employer

CEPA does not protect an employee who discloses to the government agency the employer’s activity, policy or practice in violation of a law, rule or regulation unless the employee has first  brought such activity, policy or practice in violation of a law, rule or regulation to the attention of a supervisor of the employee by written notice and has afforded the employer a reasonable opportunity to correct the  illegal activity. However, no such notice or  disclosure is required if the employee is reasonably certain the illegal activity is known to the employer, or where the employee reasonably fears immediate physical harm as a result of any notice or disclosure.

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