In White v. Starbucks Corp., 2011 WL 6111882 (App. Div., Dec. 9, 2011), the Appellate Division confirmed that when an employee reports unlawful or inappropriate workplace misconduct as part of his or her job responsibilities, such reporting is not protected whistleblowing activity under CEPA. Here, a Starbucks district manager reported to her superiors a host of unlawful conduct allegedly engaged in by co-workers while on the job or on the premises after hours. In dismissing her CEPA complaint, the Appellate Division noted that the employee reported the violations as part of her job duties in order to keep her supervisor and management abreast of the situations and actions she was taking as district manager; when such actions are taken as part of one’s job, they do not constitute activities protected by CEPA. Based upon this holding, employers should consider revising their job descriptions to specifically include such reporting to the extent such reporting is among the employee’s job duties.

 


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