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Monday, November 8, 2021

NJ Employment Whistleblower Attorney, NJ Doctors and Professionals, S2455, Employee Protection in the Workplace

New Jersey, as in other states, is in short supply for educated, trained, and qualified employees in many essential professions such in the medical professions. Similar to racial status, an individual’s immigration status can no longer be used as an excuse to discriminate among equally educated, trained, and qualified persons.

Last year New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation (S2455). This legislation prohibits lawful presence in the United States as a qualification to obtain a professional or occupational license, provided that the applicant meets all other requirements for licensure. This NJ legislation affects approximately 500,000 undocumented residents in New Jersey. Doctors and other professions in NJ became eligible for professional licenses such as electricians, nursing, counseling and cosmetology.

As more persons who are immigrants have obtained professional or occupational licenses according to S2455 and are entering the workforce, while they are enjoying many of the same rewards of employment as others, they also may be encountering the same dilemmas and problems if their employer is engaging in illegal or fraudulent activities.

All employees in New Jersey  have whistleblower protection from being retaliated against by their employer for their objection to their employer to practices of the employer which they believe are illegal, fraudulent, or, in the case of an employee who is a licensed or certified health care professional, reasonably believes constitutes improper quality of patient care. I am successful in representing whistleblower employees seeking redress for their lost wages and pain and suffering. 

Under the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act, N.J.S.A. 34:19-1 et seq., it is illegal for the employer to retaliate for an employee’s objections to, or refusal to participate in, other matters as well.

The text of this statute N.J.S.A. 34:19-1 defines what type of retaliatory action is prohibited and  states in part as follows:

34:19-3. Retaliatory action prohibited

An employer shall not take any retaliatory action against an employee because the employee does any of the following:

a. Discloses, or threatens to disclose to a supervisor or to a public body an activity, policy or practice of the employer, or another employer, with whom there is a business relationship, that the employee reasonably believes:

(1) is in violation of a law, or a rule or regulation promulgated pursuant to law, 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 public body conducting an investigation, hearing or inquiry into any violation of law, or a rule or regulation promulgated pursuant to law 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 public body 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 promulgated pursuant to law, 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.

Employees who are thinking of reporting their employer to an authority should be aware that there is a qualified notice requirement written into this law as follows:

§ 34:19-4. Written notice required

The protection against retaliatory action provided by this act pertaining to disclosure to a public body shall not apply to an employee who makes a disclosure to a public body unless the employee has brought the activity, policy or practice in violation of a law, or a rule or regulation promulgated pursuant to law to the attention of a supervisor of the employee by written notice and has afforded the employer a reasonable opportunity to correct the activity, policy or practice. Disclosure shall not be required where the employee is reasonably certain that the activity, policy or practice is known to one or more supervisors of the employer or where the employee reasonably fears physical harm as a result of the disclosure provided, however, that the situation is emergency in nature.

DO NOT SIT ON YOUR RIGHTS!

I am successful in bringing employee lawsuits for those seeking redress of their lost wages and pain and suffering. I have represented medical professionals and other professionals and was successful in recovering money for their employer’s illegal retaliation. Do not sit on your rights, or you may lose the right to file your claim.  If you think you have been retaliated against for complaining about or reporting to your employer what you believe are your employer’s illegal practices, it is essential for you to contact an experienced, competent and successful 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, you should contact this law firm as soon as possible. I am an experienced and compassionate employment attorney who will be aggressive about enforcing your rights.

If you are being subjected to such unlawful workplace retaliation, contact Hope A. Lang, Attorney at Law today for a free consultation. I accept whistleblower and 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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