NJ Nursing Law recently took another turn based on a recent ruling regarding the Cullen Law. An employer usually is protected from a slander or defamation lawsuit because it has a “qualified privilege” to speak honestly to potential employers in discussing former employees. However, NJ Nursing law provides nurses and other health care workers have even less protection due to the so-called Cullen Law which was enacted in 2005 after a serial-killer nurse murdered an estimated 400 patients over 16 years in several New Jersey hospitals (the law is officially known as the Health Care Professional Responsibility and Reporting Enhancement Act). In Senisch v. Carlino, (December 1, 2011), the New Jersey Appellate Division ruled that truthful job references by a physician assistant’s former employer were not defamatory even though they contained negative information from his personnel file. The former employer was not required to refer to the employee’s version of his termination since his former employer did not admit wrongdoing in settling his 2001 whistle blower and discrimination lawsuit.
If you have any questions regarding NJ Nursing Law or the Cullen Law, please contact our New Jersey Employment Lawyers.