Maxine Neuhauser, a Member of the Firm in the Labor and Employment and Health Care and Life Sciences practices, in the Newark office, was quoted in an article titled "Whistleblower Ruling May Make Workers Clam Up." (Read the full version — subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

The Dec. 24 decision affirming a criminal indictment for official misconduct and theft against North Bergen Board of Education worker Ivonne Saavedra raised eyebrows on both sides of the whistleblower bar, with management-side lawyers calling the ruling an important win for employers and a shot across the bow for workers considering pocketing company information. ...

The decision shows that if workers are going to retain confidential documents, they'd better be certain that those documents are actually necessary to back up a claim, Epstein Becker & Green PC's Maxine Neuhauser said.

"They just can't be grabbing documents without regard for the privacy interests of other people," Neuhauser said. "There was a lot of concern here about the sensitive nature of the information."

Though Saavedra hasn't been convicted, the fact that she's facing charges will likely translate to a chilling effect in the whistleblower arena, Neuhauser added.

"It's enough that she was indicted," Neuhauser said. "The question is whether the decision will chill employees' unauthorized or illegal activity, or whether it will chill employees' exercising protected rights."

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