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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

NJ Independent Contractors and Whistleblower Protection

The Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA), N.J.S.A. §§ 34:19-1 et al., is considered remedial legislation whose public policy purpose is to protect employee whistleblowers from retaliation by employers. CEPA was enacted to protect employees who report what they reasonably believe is illegal workplace practices, policies and acts of employers. It is intended to discourage public and private sector employers from engaging in retaliatory conduct against whistleblower employees.

Persons who are classified as “independent contractors” in some instances may also be protected from retaliation when it is a private or public entity that pays them for their services. If a private or public entity classifies the worker as an “independent contractor” rather than “employee”, it is not automatic insurance for that business or public entity that such worker may not bring a CEPA whistleblower claim against them.

The CEPA statute, under N.J.S.A. § 34:19-2(b), defines "employee" as any individual who performs services for and under the control and direction of an employer for wages or other remuneration. This definition of “employee” does not explicitly exclude workers who are labeled as independent contractors performing services for an employer for remuneration.

This definition of “employee” under N.J.S.A. § 34:19-2(b) is nonspecific and sufficiently broad for purposes of defining workers who receive protection under this act. Neither does this definition restrict “employees” to only workers who receive W-2's from their employer. 

New Jersey courts have taken a liberal approach in determining who constitutes an “employee” for purposes of invoking CEPA protection to whistleblowers. Applying this broad definition of employee, NJ case law extends CEPA protection to some workers labeled as independent contractors through the application of multi-factor test.

If you work for a public or private entity who classifies you or considers you to be an independent contractor, and you complained to a supervisor or reported to a public entity what you reasonably believed to be illegal workplace practices, policies or acts by such private or public entity, and then experienced retaliation, you should contact an experienced employment law attorney who is successful and knowledgeable in this area of law.

DO NOT SIT ON YOUR RIGHTS!

Do not sit on your rights, or you may lose the right to file your claim.

If you think you have been retaliated against, it is essential for you to contact an experienced, competent and compassionate employment whistleblower attorney who will be aggressive about enforcing your rights as soon as possible.

If you have been demoted, had your hours cut, terminated, harassed or been subjected to retaliation for complaining about, objecting to, refusing to participate in, or reporting what you believe is your employer’s illegal or improper conduct or fraud, you may have a valid Whistleblower Claim. It is important to not sit on your rights and to contact a Whistleblower attorney as soon there has been such retaliation against you.

What You Can Do

If you think you have been retaliated against, you should contact this law firm as soon as possible. I am an experienced, competent and compassionate employment discrimination attorney who will be aggressive about enforcing your rights.  I am successful in bringing whistleblower lawsuits and recovering money for whistleblower workers.

If you are being subjected to such unlawful workplace discrimination, contact Hope A. Lang, Attorney at Law today for a free consultation. I accept discrimination cases from all over New Jersey.

New Jersey employment attorney, Hope A. Lang, Attorney at Law serves clients throughout the state, including Bergen, Middlesex, Essex, Hudson, Monmouth, Ocean, Union, Camden, Passaic, and Morris Counties with locations in Southern, Central, Western and Northern NJ to meet with clients.



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