North Bergen Township is defending a lawsuit brought by two former EMS workers who claim they were wrongfully terminated after a conflict with local law enforcement officers. Luis Deleon and Tamara Sepulveda claim they were disciplined and ultimately terminated in retaliation for refusing to engage in what they believed to be illegal and unethical behavior as directed by North Bergen police.
Late this summer, the city of Vineland, New Jersey, entered into a $425,000 settlement agreement with veteran police officer Richard Burke. Officer Burke, who agreed to retire under the terms of the settlement, made claims against the department for violation of New Jersey’s Whistleblower Law (also known as the Conscientious Employee Protection Act, or CEPA). This law protects employees from being terminated or suffering other retaliatory action for reporting situations at work where they reasonably believe their employer or one of its agents is acting in violation of a law including engaging in criminal or fraudulent practices.
Worker misclassification costs more than you may think. While employees who are misclassified as independent contractors may pay higher self-employment taxes and miss out on many benefits and protections of state and federal laws, New Jersey also misses out on significant revenue that businesses must tender to the state on behalf of employees but not independent contractors.