New Jersey Wrongful Termination Lawyer Protecting Those Who Were Illegally Terminated from Employment
If you were fired in violation of an employment contract, for discriminatory reasons, or for exercising certain legal rights, you need to speak with a wrongful termination lawyer. In New Jersey, most employees are employed “at will,” meaning an employer can fire or terminate an employee without having to establish just cause or a reason for doing so. However, this is not an absolute right, even at-will employees have certain protections.
New Jersey employees are protected in their employment by a variety of state laws, including the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and the Conscientious Employee Protection Act. Employees are also protected by several federal laws including, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
Under the anti-discrimination statutes, it is unlawful for an employer to terminate an employee do to any of the below protected characteristics:
- Mental or physical disability
- Religion or religious practices
- Sexual orientation or gender identity
- Political affiliation
- National origin
- Reduction in Force
In addition, it is unlawful for an employer to terminate an employee in retaliation for their engaging in protected whistleblowing activity. An employee engages in protected activity when they:
- 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 or, in the case of an employee who is a licensed or certified health care professional, that the employee reasonably believes constitutes improper quality of patient care, or (2) is fraudulent or criminal;
- 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; or
- 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, (2) is fraudulent or criminal, or (3) is incompatible with a clear mandate of public policy concerning the public health, safety or welfare or protection of the environment.
If you believe you have been unlawfully terminated, it is important to take legal action to protect your rights. Not only is it the best way to recover the rightful wages you deserve, it is also important to punish and send a message to unethical employers who believe they are above the law. Under the law, wronged employees may recover economic damages, emotional distress damages, punitive damages. Contact an employment attorney to learn if your termination violated state or federal law, public policy, or, is in breach of an employment contract.
Please visit the Practice Areas to find out more about the various laws which offer you protection from being unlawfully terminated.