Evaluating Whistleblower and Wrongful Discharge Claims

An employee cannot be discharged for “refusing to perform an act that is a violation of a clear mandate of public policy.”  See Common

A whistleblower is a person who exposes misconduct, alleged dishonest or illegal activity occurring in an organization

An employee is not compelled to perform illegal acts and generally cannot be disciplined for reporting them to a governmental entity.  Law Retaliatory Discharge of Employee for Refusing to Perform or Participate in Unlawful or Wrongful Acts, 104 A.L.R.5th 1.  See Diagostino v. Johnson & Johnson, 133 N.J. 516 (1993).  In evaluating whistleblower claims, the following criteria can use used :
1. Violation              Is the law or rule violation clear and what material shows that.
2. Complaint           Was a governmental agency contacted. 
3. Management      Was a complaint made to the Human Resources Department or management.
4. Performance       A company may defend the claim saying the employee’s performance was substandard.   Does that defense involve his participation in unlawful activities or other areas.
5. Damages            Was there psychological or other treatment. 
6. Consequences   Was the legal violation serious; what are the real or potential consequences. 

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