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Retaliation

Do You Have to Tolerate Workplace Retaliation?

New Jersey’s retaliation attorneys want our state employees to know that they do not have to put up with illegal retaliation at work. That is because New Jersey has enacted strong laws that protect employees against various forms of unlawful retaliation. There are also federal laws that protect workers against unlawful retaliation. Perhaps the most recognizable of New Jersey’s anti-retaliation laws is its whistleblower law known as the Conscientious Employee Protection Act, N.J.S.A. 34:19-1 (CEPA). Our State whistleblower law prohibits retaliation against employees who blow the whistle on certain unlawful conduct. Like CEPA, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 (LAD), has broad protections against illegal retaliation. The LAD protects workers from illegal retaliation for opposing, complaining about, and/or testifying about unlawful workplace discrimination or harassment. Various state and federal laws also make it illegal to retaliate against workers related to legally protected leaves. For example, the federal Family Medical Leave Act, 29 U.S.C. 2615, and the New Jersey Family Leave Act, N.J.S.A. 34:11B-9, make it unlawful for employers to retaliate against workers for taking or requesting medical leave, leave to care for family members, and/or leave to bond with a newborn or adopted child. The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination also protects workers from discrimination for requesting necessary medical leave as an accommodation or taking leave for service in the armed forces. There are also statutes that protect against retaliation for employees who request or need accommodations, whether for disabilities or medical conditions, pregnancy, and/or religious observances. Those laws include the Law Against Discrimination, the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. 12203, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Many of New Jersey’s wage laws also protect employees against retaliation. For example, the anti-retaliation provision of the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act, N.J.S.A. 10:5-12(r), makes it clear that it is illegal for employers to retaliate against employees who request certain compensation and benefits information at work, seek legal advice, and/or provide information to governmental agencies about unequal pay practices at work. Employees are protected from illegal retaliation if they complain about, pursue a complaint about, and/or testify in a legal proceeding about minimum wage or overtime violations under the New Jersey Wage Payment Law, N.J.S.A. 34:11-4.10, New Jersey Wage Theft Law, N.J.S.A. 2C:40A-2, and Section 15(a)(3) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Employees who are fired in violation of the public policy of the State of New Jersey may also bring what is known as a Pierce claim. Also, employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who request or take legally protected leave under New Jersey’s Security and Financial Empowerment Act (SAFE Act). There are even legal protections against workplace retaliation against employees who file a complaint, institute a proceeding, testify about, and/or exercise their rights concerning hazardous workplace conditions and/or worker safety and health as set froth in the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA), N.J.S.A. 34:6A-45. Both federal and state laws, such as Section 1983 and the New Jersey Civil Rights Act, N.J.S.A. 10:6-1, protect public employees from retaliation for their political support and/or actions. The Law Against Discrimination and the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-Employment Act (USERRA) protects against retaliation for those bravely protecting our Nation by serving in the armed services. Retaliating against employees who file or pursue claims for workplace injuries is also illegal pursuant to New Jersey’s workers’ compensation law, N.J.S.A. 34:15-39.1. Lastly, school employees cannot be retaliated against for reporting harassment and/or bullying. N.J.S.A. 18A:37-15.

What Does Workplace Retaliation Look Like?

Unlawful retaliation at work can be different depending on every circumstance but, generally, it involves employers taking adverse actions against employees. Adverse actions may include many different actions that can be taken that harm employees like firing, demoting, disciplining, refusing to promote, reducing pay, denying raises, limiting work hours, changing work assignments, transferring, and/or harassing workers.

How Can a New Jersey Retaliation Attorney Help?

Lenzo & Reis’ retaliation lawyers have represented thousands of New Jersey workers throughout the State of New Jersey in various types of retaliation claims. How we help depends on various factors that largely center on our clients such as whether the retaliated against employees (i) are still employed or have been fired, (ii) want the retaliating employer to know that the employees are represented by counsel, and (iii) how willing those employees are to pursue suit.

We have recovered millions of dollars for employees who were unlawfully retaliated against at work in lost wages, emotional distress, and even punitive damages, which refers to a class of damages intended to punish employers who engage in wrongdoing.

What Should You Do If You Are Being Illegally Retaliated Against at Work?

Unlawful retaliation is stressful and can impact your work life as well as your personal life. You do not need to tolerate illegal retaliation and you do not need to fight unlawful retaliation alone. If you believe that you are being unlawfully retaliated against at work, you should contact New Jersey’s experienced workplace retaliation attorneys, Lenzo & Reis, by phone at (973) 845-9922 or e-mail. We have successfully helped hundreds of retaliated against employees not only stop illegal retaliation, including whistleblower retaliation, but obtain compensation for the retaliation to which they were subjected.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
"Professional and Knowledgeable Attorney. At what was supposed to be the highest point in my career suddenly became the most harassing and lowest point of my career and I was passed over for a promotion. Not because the other person was more qualified than I was, but because I followed the law and did the right thing and the people I worked for did not like that. After researching several attorneys, my wife and I found Claudia, and the decision to retain her was the best decision we ever made. After explaining our case to Claudia, we found that she was not only extremely professional but a very caring human being. Throughout the entire process of our case, Claudia was there with us every step of the way. She explained every single proceeding that we had to go through and guided us, not only as a professional attorney in and out of court, but personally as a caring and understanding person. Because of her extensive working knowledge of employment and labor laws, Claudia was able to successfully resolve our case. My wife and I will always be extremely grateful for Claudia’s hard work and dedication, and we highly recommend Claudia Reis to anyone seeking an attorney who practices in employment and labor laws." John
★★★★★
"Professionalism, integrity, and determination. Outstanding representation! Chris Lenzo did an outstanding job in my employment discrimination case. He responded to my questions in a timely fashion, provided clear communication through each step of the process, and handled my case in an honest and straight forward manner. Chris’s expertise in employment law along with his hard work ensured justice would prevail in my case and got me the compensation I deserved. Likewise, Chris’s law firm staff was professional, courteous, organized, and effective. I highly recommend Chirs Lenzo’s firm to anyone with an employment legal matter in New Jersey or New York." Sofia
★★★★★
"Remarkable professional. I have worked with Ms. Reis and her firm for the past three years. During the consultation process, you will immediately experience her compassion as she offers suggestions and guides you through the difficult situation you are dealing with. Her attention to detail, timely follow up and candid manner ensured me that I was well-protected and represented. Ms. Reis always went above and beyond to protect me legally. She is a very strong and tough (when necessary) advocate for the individual she represents. Her support staff is equally diligent. I would recommend her without reservation." A.M.