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Was NJ whistleblower fired for questioning beer stein origin?

New Jersey employers are protected from wrongful termination under the state's whistleblower statutes among other employment laws. When an employee exposes any policy, activity or practice of the employer that violates a law or threatens public safety or welfare, he or she cannot be fired for doing this.

Additionally, under New Jersey law, employees cannot be fired for disclosing the wrongful practices or another party who has a business relationship with his or her employer. When an employee does believe he or she was fired for blowing the whistle, he or she has the opportunity to seek legal recourse. Recently, a New Jersey woman sued her employer after she was fired for allegedly refusing to lie to customers about the true value of a counterfeit product.

According to the former employee, she said that her place of work sold $70 beer steins that were advertised as being crafted in Germany. In fact, she said, they were made in China for a very low cost. Upset by this, she brought the concern to her manager and refused to sell the mugs.

She claims she was fired for this reason.

Her federal lawsuits allege not only wrongful termination, but also fraud on behalf of the retailer for selling the Chinese products as if they were made in Germany. According to the suit, hundreds of the beer steins have been sold.

Employment law disputes involve both an employer's and an employee's perspective. And in every case, both sides have much at stake. In this case, the woman's livelihood may have been wrongfully taken from her and she will need to remedy that. From the employer's standpoint, if these accusations are false, they will certainly have a negative and costly affect on business. Both employers and employees are wise to seek experienced employment law counsel when engaging in disputes to ensure their interests are protected.

Source: WFMZ.com, "Former employee brings federal suits against ArtsQuest; Brings beer stein origin into question," June, 13, 2012

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