New Jersey is an "at-will" employment state. That means that if you are not in a union, have vested tenure or civil service rights or a personal employment contract that limits your termination to being "for cause" only, then your employer can pretty much fire/lay you off for any reason, including erroneous reasons or no reason at all. The rationale behind this is that the courts do not wish to get involved in mundane employment decisions. These types of decisions should be left in the hands of the employers who ought to have free reign as to the business decisions that are necessary for the health and the growth of their company.
The main exception to this "at will" employment rule would be if an employer is motivated by prejudice or retaliation in terminating the employment of an employee. For example, if an employer is allowing unlawful prejudice against a person’s race, age, gender, disability, religion or other “protected class” status, to act as a motivation to terminate someone’s employment, then that would violate NJ and Federal law and would constitute a wrongful termination. Likewise, if a person is being retaliated against for either (1) complaining about unlawful harassment or discrimination based on prejudice or (2) blowing the whistle on illegal or fraudulent activity that is discovered in the workplace and brought to the employer’s attention, then this too would violate NJ and Federal Law and would constitute a wrongful termination.
If you have facts that support a claim of discrimination, harassment or retaliation that led to your termination, then you should seek a consultation with an experienced employment law attorney to ascertain whether you have sufficient facts to support a claim of wrongful termination.
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