Wrongful termination suit filed against PSE&G by 3 former workers

New Jersey employees have a right to be defended against wrongful termination from their jobs. One of the most powerful tools they have at their disposal is the whistleblower protection law. When employees suspect that employers are conducting their businesses in an illegal or unethical manner, they have a right to address those issues. They should not have to fear being fired for speaking up.

One such case is making its way through the legal system now as three former employees of Public Service Electric & Gas claim in their lawsuit in Essex County Superior Court that they were wrongfully terminated for reporting what they believe was fraud the company committed against ratepayers. In the suit, the three claim that PSE&G wrongfully used state solar money for a billboard, redirected efficiency money to cover a mistaken $325,000 payment to the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and ignored unbilled use of electricity by Newark's red light cameras--thus causing other customers to pay for it. PSE&G denies the allegations and says the employees were fired for legitimate reasons.

State officials did not immediately comment on the allegations. The three former employees are suing for attorney fees, back pay, reinstatement and damages. Of the three plaintiffs, two have worked for the company for a few years while the third had worked for the company since 1979.

While this case of possible wrongful termination makes its way through the New Jersey legal system, it should be noted that these individuals were able to file a suit. This right is afforded to virtually anyone who works in this state and has cause to believe they were fired wrongfully. Consulting with a legal professional experienced in this area of the law may be the best first step to take for those in similar circumstances.

Source: The Star-Ledger, " Former employees accuse PSE&G of fraud-wrongful termination in suit," Eliot Caroom, Dec. 20, 2011

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