On July 15, 2015, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that the protections of the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) extend to so-called “watchdog” employees—those employees whose regular job duties involve monitoring compliance. In Lippman v. Ethicon (A-65/66-13, July 15, 2015), the court rejected the defendants’ argument that watchdog employees must be acting outside of the scope of their job duties in order to engage in CEPA-protected whistleblowing. The court further found that CEPA imposes no additional internal exhaustion burdens on watchdog employees, rejecting the pro-employer multi-part exhaustion test established by the Appellate Division (and discussed in the May 2014 and September 2013 issues of the New Jersey eAuthority).


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