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).
The equal pay movement gained significant ground in 2015, with new equal pay legislation enacted in two large states, new pay equity rules issued for federal contractors, and equal pay legislation introduced in several states. President Obama discussed the need for equal pay during his 2015 State of the Union address and Hollywood drew attention to the equal pay issue as well with two high-profile actors speaking out publicly against pay inequality.
Pennsylvania – Pennsylvania Court Holds ERISA Preempts Pennsylvania Law Revoking Ex-Spouse’s Benefits
On May 9, 2008, the Pennsylvania Superior Court, in a 2-1 decision, ruled that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) preempts a Pennsylvania law that mandates the revocation of beneficiary designations upon divorce. In re Estate of Sauers, Pa. Super. Ct. (No. 1060 MDA 2007). At issue in the case was a 1997 policy of life insurance that was issued to certain employees of C.S. Davidson, including Paul Sauers. In June 1998, following the issuance of the policy, Paul Sauers married Jodie Sauers.
On February 2, 2020, the United States joined a growing list of countries that have implemented travel restrictions for those at risk of transmitting the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).