New Jersey Supreme Court’s Saavedra Decision Serves as Warning to Employees Contemplating Theft of Employer’s Confidential Documents

June 24, 2015Alerts Mid Atlantic Staffing Association Newsletter

On June 23, 2015, in a 6-1 decision, the New Jersey Supreme Court affirmed the denial of Ivonne Saavedra’s motion to dismiss a criminal indictment against her for absconding with her employer’s confidential documents. In so holding, the New Jersey Supreme Court raised the stakes for any employee who takes an employer’s company documents, whether to support a contemplated or ongoing lawsuit, or otherwise.

In the case, Saavedra, a North Bergen Board of Education (Board) clerk, took 367 documents (including 69 originals) and provided them to her attorney in order to support her pending gender discrimination lawsuit against the Board. During discovery, Saavedra’s attorney provided the documents to the Board, who referred the matter to the Hudson County Prosecutor. Saavedra was charged with the criminal offenses of official misconduct and theft of movable property (the latter offense not restricted to public employees). Saavedra’s challenge to the indictment was rejected by the Appellate Division and now the New Jersey Supreme Court.

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