NJ Labor And Employment Law

The New Jersey Labor and Employment Law Blog is authored by Jay S. Becker and Joseph C. DeBlasio, shareholders in the Labor and Employment Law Practice Group, with support from the associates in the Group. It is dedicated to provide news and updates regarding all labor and employment matters throughout New Jersey.

NJ Supreme Court Upholds Whistleblower Protections For ”Watchdog” Employees

July 16, 2015 | Comments Off on NJ Supreme Court Upholds Whistleblower Protections For ”Watchdog” Employees
Posted by Ari Burd

Co-Authored By Jeri L. Abrams

By a 5-0 decision, the NJ Supreme Court has ruled that all employees, including “watchdog” employees, are entitled to whistleblower protection under the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA).  Under a previous Supreme Court decision, some defendant employers successfully argued that an employee cannot claim whistleblower protection if the employee merely blew the whistle in the ordinary course of his or her regular job duties.  By way of example, under this line of earlier reasoning, the chief auditor of a company could not claim whistleblower protection if he or she was fired in retaliation for detecting and reporting theft because identifying such theft is part of the auditor’s job duties.  Clearly aware of the problems created by such a loophole, the Supreme Court’s decision in Lippman v. Ethicon, Inc. has made clear that the nature of an employee’s position and duties cannot bar that employee from the protections afforded by CEPA.

Employers should not be too surprised by this decision.  It follows the long trend in the New Jersey courts of affording as much protection under applicable laws as possible to employees.   Employers who have already have whistleblower policies in their handbooks  will need to amend the whistleblower policy if it excludes reporting made as part of the employee’s duties from protection.  Employers who do not have whistleblower policies are strongly encouraged to add such policies promptly.  In addition to adopting a written CEPA policy in their handbooks, employers are reminded that they are required to conspicuously display a CEPA notice in the workplace and annually distribute to all employees written or electronic notices of its employees’ protections, rights and obligations under CEPA.

For more information or assistance, please contact the GH&C Labor & Employment department.


Notice: compact(): Undefined variable: limits in /home/ghc/public_html/njlaborandemploymentlaw.com/wp-includes/class-wp-comment-query.php on line 853

Notice: compact(): Undefined variable: groupby in /home/ghc/public_html/njlaborandemploymentlaw.com/wp-includes/class-wp-comment-query.php on line 853

Comments are closed.