What do the following employees have in common?
- The compliance officer for a pharmaceutical company who threatens to report her employer’s production violations to the FDA
- The truck driver who complains to his supervisor about being assigned hours in excess of the limit set by transportation safety regs
- The billing department worker who refuses to participate in her employer’s Medicare/Medicaid fraud scheme
All these employees are “whistleblowers” who report or object to the unlawful actions of their employers. Whistleblowers are given special employment protection under the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act, or “CEPA”. Specifically, CEPA makes it illegal for employers to retaliate against employees for their whistle-blowing conduct.
A successful CEPA claim requires proof that:
- The employee reasonably believed that the employer’s conduct violated a law, regulation, or clear mandate of public policy. Such mandates include those concerning public health, safety, welfare, or the environment.
- The employee engaged in certain defined “whistleblowing activity”. This includes reporting or threatening to report the employer’s conduct to a supervisor or public body. It also includes objecting to or refusing to participate in such conduct.
- The employee suffered an adverse employment action. This can include termination, demotion, bogus discipline, or other actions that negatively impact the employee.
- The adverse employment action was due to the whistleblowing conduct. A causal connection must exist between the employee’s injuries and his or her whistleblowing.
Zatuchni & Associates are experienced practitioners of whistleblower law. We’ve helped numerous employees across multiple fields achieve successful resolution of their CEPA claims, including:
- Business office employees who report accounting/billing fraud
- Drivers and pilots who report violations of state and federal transportation safety regulations
- Compliance officers who report violations of FDA, EPA, or other applicable regulations
- Workers of all stripes who report violations of wage and hour laws, safety laws, or unlawful kickback schemes
If you believe you’ve been retaliated against due to your whistleblowing activity, please call us today for a free consultation.