New Jersey’s High Court Adopts More Lenient Test for Recovering Lost Wages Under State Whistleblower Law

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In the latest opinion by New Jersey’s high court interpreting the Conscientious Employee Protection Act, N.J.S.A. § 34:19-1 to -8 (“CEPA”), a former employee of DuPont who had sued the company as a whistleblower was permitted to recover substantial lost wages without having to satisfy the rigorous test for constructive discharge that has historically been required in such cases. The majority’s decision, no doubt, represents a significant change to how lost wage claims are presented in CEPA cases. It has shifted the focus in CEPA cases from an objective standard in which the totality of the conditions of work were evaluated to determine if an employee had a sufficient basis for walking away from his employment, to a subjective, lesser standard that is driven by an isolated focus on the employee’s state of mind.

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