Whether you are a young person in school or an adult at work, you probably know what it’s like to be drawn into a dispute between two quarreling sides. In school, siding with the wrong person may leave you in fear of losing friends or being excluded from a particular social circle. At work, the stakes are much higher, as choosing a side may leave you in fear of losing your livelihood. Fortunately, the law in New Jersey protects many workers whose employers try to force them to take the employer’s side in another employee’s discrimination or harassment case. If your employer takes adverse action against you for refusing to become involved, then you may have a valid case of your own – for retaliation. If that’s you, be sure to reach out without delay and retain a knowledgeable New Jersey employment attorney.
E.R. was someone who sued after his employer placed him in that kind of dilemma. He was an EMT supervisor at a hospital in Secaucus. E.R.’s supervisor, R.R., told the EMT that another employee, H.B., had filed a sexual harassment complaint. The supervisor instructed E.R. that the he “needed to be a team player” and needed “to play ball and help the hospital.” More ominously, the supervisor told the EMT that, as an employee of the hospital, E.R. was required “to protect the hospital” and that the employer expected him “to help out.” Being a “team player,” in this instance, meant telling the lawyers exactly what the supervisor told him to say.
E.R. allegedly objected to the supervisor’s plan and refused to “play ball.” After that refusal, the employer allegedly removed some of E.R.’s responsibilities as an EMS supervisor and then later fired him.