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The New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) is one of the strongest whistleblower laws in the country. Notwithstanding the law’s strength, it remains unanswered whether CEPA claims against religious employers are barred by the ministerial exception. This common law doctrine holds that religious employers should be free from government regulation in making employment decisions concerning ministerial staff because such determinations necessarily have a theological underpinning. The doctrine accordingly bars claims by ministers under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD), for example. But how should courts address CEPA claims asserted by ministers who blow the whistle on their employers?

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