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What is Employer Retaliation?

As an employee, you are probably aware that there are laws preventing employers from discriminating against you based on race, creed, national origin, age, handicap, gender, sexual orientation or marital status. However, you may not realize that there are also laws that prevent your employer from punishing you for filing a complaint for discrimination, harassment or for participating in a whistleblower investigation.

Employer retaliation is the act of penalizing an employee for engaging in a lawfully protected behavior. Examples of employer retaliation include those listed below:

  • Being laid off or fired
  • Demotion
  • Being denied a raise
  • Not being transferred to a desired position
  • Being denied training
  • Other negative employment actions

Retaliation by an employer is prohibited when it is against an employee who complains internally or to an outside agency such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission about workplace discrimination. Additionally, as long as the complaint was made in good faith, it’s irrelevant if the claim was unfounded.

Conscientious Employee Protection Act

In the State of New Jersey, the statute that protects whistleblowers is known as the Conscientious Employee Protection Act, or CEPA. Under the Act, one of the provisions prohibits employers from retaliating against any employee who, “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 is in violation of a law, or a rule or regulation issued under the law, or, in the case of an employee who is a licensed or certified health care professional, reasonably believes constitutes improper quality of patient care.”

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Neil  H.  Deutsch Attorney Photo
Neil H. Deutsch
Senior Partner

About Neil H. Deutsch has been practicing law for over 35 years and is known as a skilled negotiator in employment and discrimination law. He believes in a bottom-line approach of risk analysis and cost effectiveness for his clients. "Case evaluation is something we take seriously," says Mr. Deutsch who seeks top net dollar for…

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Bruce L. Atkins
Senior Partner

About Bruce L. Atkins is regarded as one of New Jersey's premiere practitioners of employment and civil litigation. Mr. Atkins has also been included in the Thomson Reuters list of New Jersey Super Lawyers* in Employment Litigation since 2005. Mr. Atkins believes employees have rights that should be aggressively pursued when an employer has wrongfully dealt…

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Adam J. Kleinfeldt
Partner

About Adam J. Kleinfeldt joined Deutsch Atkins, P.C. in March of 2015.  He primarily represents individuals in employment litigations such as discrimination, retaliation, and whistle blowing matters.  He has extensive experience in all phases of the litigation process. Adam has obtained significant results for some of his clients, including a $525,000 jury verdict in a…

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Robert J. Pantina
Attorney

About Robert J. Pantina joined the firm in 2018. Mr. Pantina received his B.A. from Rider University in 2008. He received his J.D. from the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University in 2017. While in law school, Mr. Pantina interned for the Hon. Bonnie J. Mizdol, Assignment Judge of the Superior Court of…

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Diane Englander Peyser
Attorney

About Diane Englander Peyser joined Deutsch Atkins, PC in September 2018 where she represents employees in wrongful termination, retaliation, harassment, and discrimination matters. Prior to joining Deutsch Atkins, PC, Diane represented clients in all aspects of employment law on behalf of employees involving unemployment appeals, claims of sexual harassment, LGBT discrimination, disability discrimination, FMLA, New…

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