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Monday, December 6, 2021

NJ Whistleblower Attorney, Construction Workers Complain about Dangers, Hazards on Job

Construction workers may face a bevy of hazardous job conditions from abrasive blasting to construction in confined spaces that make working unsafe. Because of the unique nature of their work, there are physical dangers related to their employment that workers in other professions do not encounter. Public and private employers of those who do construction work are required to adhere to legal regulations under Federal and State laws for workers related to the following (not an all-inclusive list):

Potential Combustible Dust Explosions 

Storage of Flammable Combustible Materials

Demolishing or Salvaging Structures Where Asbestos Is Present (extremely important as the damage to one’s body may not become evident until decades later)

Electrical Hazards

Cranes and Derricks in Construction and Qualified Riggers

Signal Person Qualifications as to Cranes and Derricks

Compressed Gas Cylinders

Scaffolding as to Employee Safe Access, Platforms and Guardrails

Protection from Falling Objects

Chemical Toxic Gases, Vapors, Fumes, Dusts, and Mists (damage to one’s body may not become evident until years later)

Lead Poisoning (extremely important as the damage to one’s body may not become evident as to decades later)

Crystalline Silica (employees must be protected from crystalline silica by appropriate engineering controls, personal protective equipment, respirators)

Malfunctioning Power Tools, Improper Maintenance of Power Tools

If you are construction worker who  reported to your employer, complained about, or refused to participate in what you reasonably believe to be employer violations of health or safety codes or other legal regulations, and your  employer retaliated against you by cutting your hours, demoting you or by other forms of retaliation, you may have a valid Whistleblower claim under the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act, (CEPA) N.J.S.A. Sec. 34:19-1 et seq. I have successfully represented both public and private employees in CEPA claims and was successful in recovering money for them.

Independent Contractors

If your employer classifies you as an “independent contractor” rather than an employee, it does not mean that you are automatically excluded from CEPA’s protection from employer retaliation for whistleblowing. The NJ Courts have recognized that labels may be illusory for the benefit of the employer and against the intent of the statute. N.J.S.A. §§ 34:19-1 to -8, defines an "employee" as any individual who performs services for and under the control and direction of an employer for wages or other remuneration. This definition does not exclude, explicitly, persons who are designated as independent contractors performing services for an employer for remuneration. Therefore, workers who designated as independent contractors are not automatically excluded from the protection afforded whistleblower employees.

Public and private employers may try to cut corners by disregarding safety regulations in order to comply with terms of a contract as to time constraints for the completion of a project or for other money-driven reasons. However, such indifference or blatant disregard may be potentially harmful not only to employees but also to the public.

IF YOU QUIT YOUR JOB, YOU MAY LOSE RIGHT TO PREVAIL IN A LAWSUIT

If you quit your job, you may lose right to prevail in a lawsuit. If you are thinking of quitting, or you think you will be fired, you should know that you may lose your right to prevail in a lawsuit unless you first take certain legally required measures to to preserve your job while you are still employed. If you are thinking of quitting, or think you will be fired, you should contact this office immediately to discuss your options in the safest way for you.

Statistics prove that  employees who quit their employment have an extremely lower rate of prevailing in a lawsuit than employees who were terminated. This is because if an employee quits, the former employee will have to prove what is known in legal terms as a “constructive discharge” which is a very high threshold to prove.

It is not required for you to have been terminated for you to bring a claim under CEPA. If you have been demoted, had your hours cut, terminated, harassed or been subjected to retaliation for such complaints, refusal to participate in, or reporting what you believe is your employer’s illegal conduct, you should contact this law firm as soon as possible. I am successful in bringing whistleblower lawsuits against governmental entities and private employers and recovering money for whistleblower workers.

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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