Search form

New Jersey Bill Will Make Whistleblower Settlement Agreements with Public Entities Public Records

By Richard J. Cino, Joseph C. Toris and Katerina R. Mantell
  • March 27, 2017

Proposed legislation that would make whistleblower settlement agreements involving public entities available to the public has been approved unanimously by the New Jersey Assembly on March 23, 2017.

The New Jersey Assembly Bill (A-4243) would bar public entities and public employees from entering into confidential settlements of whistleblower claims asserted under the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act, except where the settlement involves a matter concerning national security.

A public entity is defined as the state and any county, municipality, district, public authority, public agency, and any other political subdivision or public body in the state.

The bill provides that such settlements constitute public records under the open public records laws. While such information is often available under existing laws, such as the Open Public Records Act (N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq.), the proposed legislation requires that all settlement agreements be prominently displayed on the Attorney General’s website, in a searchable format, and include:

  1. the date the agreement was signed;
  2. the names of the parties;
  3. a description of the claims;
  4. the total amount each party is obligated to pay; and
  5. the total amount of compensation for outside legal counsel.

Supporters of the bill maintain that it will prevent public entities from keeping information involving the expenditure of public funds on such litigation confidential.

Jackson Lewis Morristown and Monmouth County attorneys are available to discuss this bill and other developments.

©2017 Jackson Lewis P.C. This Update is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice nor does it create an attorney/client relationship between Jackson Lewis and any readers or recipients. Readers should consult counsel of their own choosing to discuss how these matters relate to their individual circumstances. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without the express written consent of Jackson Lewis.

This Update may be considered attorney advertising in some states. Furthermore, prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Jackson Lewis P.C. represents management exclusively in workplace law and related litigation. Our attorneys are available to assist employers in their compliance efforts and to represent employers in matters before state and federal courts and administrative agencies. For more information, please contact the attorney(s) listed or the Jackson Lewis attorney with whom you regularly work.

See AllRelated Articles You May Like

June 13, 2018

New Hampshire Prohibits Gender Identity Discrimination

June 13, 2018

New Hampshire became the 20th state in the country to prohibit discrimination of all forms based upon gender identity when Governor Chris Sununu signed House Bill 1319 into law on June 8, 2018. The law goes into effect on July 8, 2018. House Bill 1319 adds “gender identity” to the list of protected classes under the New Hampshire Law... Read More

June 8, 2018

New Jersey Closer to Bar on Jury Waivers, Arbitration Agreements, Secrecy of Harassment Settlements

June 8, 2018

The New Jersey Senate has passed a bill that would prohibit jury waivers and agreements that conceal the details of discrimination claims under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, N.J.S.A. § 10:5-1, et seq. (LAD). The bill, which passed by a vote of 34-1, also would call into question the enforceability of agreements to arbitrate... Read More

June 7, 2018

Employment-at-Will Comes to Puerto Rico?

June 7, 2018

Puerto Rico’s Financial Oversight and Management Board and Governor Ricardo Rosselló have sent bills to the Puerto Rico legislature to repeal the Unjust Dismissal Act, Act No. 80 of May 30, 1976 (Act 80). If either bill is enacted, employers in Puerto Rico will no longer be required to have “just cause” to dismiss employees hired for an... Read More

Related Practices