Maxine Neuhauser, a Member of the Labor and Employment and Health Care and Life Sciences practices in the Newark office, was quoted in an article titled “NJ High Court Cases Could Limit Whistleblower Protection.” (Read the full version – subscription required.)
Following is an excerpt:
The Garden State’s whistleblower protections under its Conscientious Employee Protection Act, Law Against Discrimination, Civil Rights Act and common law preventing workplace retaliation are especially robust, offering workers protection not only from retaliatory termination but also from retaliatory demotions, rearranging of job duties and disciplinary action.
But there are potential setbacks for whistleblowers ahead as the high court considers two cases that — in combination with its recent ruling in Hitesman v. Bridgeway Inc. — could constrain these protections considerably.
Maxine Neuhauser, a member of Epstein Becker Green PC’s labor and employment group, told Law360 the high court is unlikely to side with Saavedra, who failed to win a reversal from the Appellate Division in part because of the nature of the documents she allegedly took, some of which contained student health information that is confidential under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and were original copies.
“There seems to be an underlying sense that there’s a difference between a company’s confidential information that she takes being different from somebody taking confidential information about third parties which has been entrusted to the employer,” Neuhauser said. “When an employee breaches that trust and takes HIPAA-protected information, the court views it differently, and the court should. If employees need documents to support their claims, that’s what discovery is for.”