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Total Articles: 9

Volunteers Not Protected By New Jersey’s Whistleblower Law, Says Court

A New Jersey appeals court recently ruled that a volunteer firefighter was not an “employee” of the volunteer fire company from which he was expelled, rejecting his whistleblower claim and strictly interpreting the state’s statute. The September 13, 2017 ruling should offer guidance to New Jersey employers regarding whether true “volunteers” are protected under the state’s Conscientious Employee Protection Act, commonly known as “CEPA” (Sauter v. Colts Neck Volunteer Fire Company No. 2).

Does New Jersey's Conscientious "Everyone" Protection Act Trump the NLRB's Exclusive Jurisdiction? State Supreme Court says "Yes"

Executive Summary: Just when employers thought New Jersey's Supreme Court could not expand the state's whistleblower law further (as we reported last summer), the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) once again has been broadened. Now the Court has held that an employee governed by a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and allegedly terminated in retaliation for engaging in protected activity concerning wages regulated by the CBA may bring a CEPA claim in New Jersey state court —rather than pursue the same claim for relief before the National Labor Relations Board. In so doing, the Court's decision erases any doubt CEPA likely is the most far-reaching whistleblowing statute in the U.S.


When the Supreme Court of New Jersey held in Quinlan v. Curtiss-Wright Corp., 204 N.J. 239 (2010) that an employee’s unauthorized taking of an employer’s confidential documents can constitute protected activity when the documents are used in support of a discrimination claim. it left several vexing questions unanswered. In particular, the Court did not explain how it would reconcile this controversial decision with instances where an employee’s taking of documents constituted a violation of law.

New Jersey Supreme Court Rejects Heightened Standard For “Watchdog” Whistleblowers

In a decision that is likely to have far-reaching impact on employers, the New Jersey Supreme Court has rejected a heightened standard for “watchdog” employees, i.e. employees whose job duties include ensuring legal compliance, to prove whistleblower liability under the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA). Lippman v. Ethicon, Inc., No. A-65/66-13 (July 15, 2015).

New Jersey Rejects Heightened Bar for Whistleblower Claims by ‘Watchdog’ Employees

In a unanimous decision, the New Jersey Supreme Court has refused to raise the bar for employees whose job entails ensuring legal compliance (“watchdog” employees) to bring whistleblower claims under the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA). Lippman v. Ethicon, Inc., No. A-65/66-13 (July 15, 2015).

Disagreement with Internal Policy or Procedure Does Not Give Rise to CEPA Claim.

In a second CEPA case, the Appellate Division held that the plaintiff’s repeated complaints about internal management decisions do not give rise to a viable claim under the Act.

CEPA Does Not Protect an Employee’s Inappropriate Conduct.

Here, the Appellate Division held that New Jersey’s Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) does not protect an employee’s inappropriate conduct.

N.J. Supreme Court Expands Whistleblower Law's Coverage.

The New Jersey Supreme Court recently issued two opinions expanding the class of workers entitled to protection under the Conscientious Employee Protection Act ("CEPA"), N.J.S.A. 34:19-1 to -8, also known as New Jersey's "Whistleblower" statute. In D'Annunzio v. Prudential Insurance Co., A-119-05 (July 25, 2007) and Stomel v. City of Camden, A-45/46-06 (July 25, 2007), the Court found that workers hired as independent contractors may be entitled to CEPA's protections.

Worker's Whistleblowing Claim May Proceed (pdf).

New Jersey Supreme Court finds that transfer followed complaints.

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