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Wrongful termination lawsuit hits New Jersey energy company

Big business sometimes means big money. Some large corporations in New Jersey collect more money in a day than many people make as their yearly salary. Some of these big businesses have more than making money to worry about, especially when poor business ethics may be involved. Employees can sometimes fight back when such ethics result in wrongful termination, discrimination or harassment warranting legal action.

A wrongful termination lawsuit was filed against Public Service Electric and Gas in Essex County Superior Court last month. Three former employees of PSE&G claim they were unjustly fired by the public utility provider. Each claimant reports having acted as a whistleblower in regard to improper money gains and charges for ratepayers. After each individual complained to the company, they were fired.

All were dismissed on separate occasions; however, they've filed the lawsuit together. The wrongful termination suit also alleges fraud by PSE&G. These allegations stem from reports by plaintiffs that some rates paid by customers of the utility company were charged under false pretenses.

The fraud is further said to include double billing municipalities and contractors for the same services, and improperly charging other customers for the electricity used by red light cameras by the city of Newark. The lawsuit also claims the company used money from the New Jersey state solar fund to pay for a billboard advertisement.

The three former employees are suing for back pay, reinstatement, damages and attorneys' fees.

While it remains to be seen what the outcome of this litigation will be, the case underscores problems that sometimes exist with business entities. The courts will now have to examine the evidence and come to a conclusion concerning the claims in the lawsuit. Being fired from a job because of trying to do the right thing is often not only unfair, but also illegal. Those affected by such actions have the right to seek legal recourse.

NJ.com, "Former employees accuse PSE&G of fraud, wrongful termination in suit," Eliot Caroom, Dec. 20, 2011

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