2022 New Jersey Revised Statutes
Title 34 - Labor and Workmen's Compensation
Section 34:19-5 - Civil action, jury trial; remedies.
34:19-5 Civil action, jury trial; remedies.
5. Upon a violation of any of the provisions of this act, an aggrieved employee or former employee may, within one year, institute a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction. Upon the application of any party, a jury trial shall be directed to try the validity of any claim under this act specified in the suit. All remedies available in common law tort actions shall be available to prevailing plaintiffs. These remedies are in addition to any legal or equitable relief provided by this act or any other statute. The court shall also order, where appropriate and to the fullest extent possible:
a. An injunction to restrain any violation of this act which is continuing at the time that the court issues its order;
b. The reinstatement of the employee to the same position held before the retaliatory action, or to an equivalent position;
c. The reinstatement of full fringe benefits and seniority rights;
d. The compensation for all lost wages, benefits and other remuneration; and
e. The payment by the employer of reasonable costs, and attorney's fees.
In addition, the court or jury may order: the assessment of a civil fine of not more than $10,000 for the first violation of the act and not more than $20,000 for each subsequent violation, which shall be paid to the State Treasurer for deposit in the General Fund; punitive damages; or both a civil fine and punitive damages. In determining the amount of punitive damages, the court or jury shall consider not only the amount of compensatory damages awarded to the employee, but also the amount of all damages caused to shareholders, investors, clients, patients, customers, employees, former employees, retirees or pensioners of the employer, or to the public or any governmental entity, by the activities, policies or practices of the employer which the employee disclosed, threatened to disclose, provided testimony regarding, objected to, or refused to participate in.
L.1986,c.105,s.5; amended 1990, c.12, s.4; 2005, c.329, s.2.