Harris M. Mufson

Harris M. Mufson

Proskauer Rose LLP

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Second Circuit Strays From “Definitively and Specifically” Standard But Still Dismisses SOX Claim

On August 8, 2014, the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a SOX whistleblower retaliation claim brought by a former AECOM Technology Corp. (“Company”) employee, holding that he did not engage in protected activity...more

8/14/2014 - Corporate Counsel Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblowers

Watchdogs Petition SEC to Strengthen Prohibitions Against Impeding Complaints to SEC

On July 18, 2014, a coalition of plaintiff-side lawyers and government watchdog groups proposed ways to strengthen the SEC whistleblower program in two petitions filed with the SEC. The groups urged the SEC to update Rule...more

7/25/2014 - Confidentiality Agreements Corporate Counsel Employment Contract Non-Disclosure Agreement Petitions for Review SEC Severance Agreements Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

Texas Federal Court Dismisses FCA Claims As Insufficiently Pled

In U.S. ex rel. Williams v. McKesson Corp., No. 3:12-CV-0371-B (N.D. Tex. July 9, 2014), a Texas federal court recently dismissed a qui tam whistleblower suit by a former employee of McKesson, a Texas-based entity that...more

7/21/2014 - False Claims Act Fraud Healthcare Healthcare Fraud McKesson Technologies Pleading Standards Qui Tam Whistleblowers

Eleventh Circuit Sustains Award To Employer In Whistleblower Case

In a warning to plaintiffs’ counsel who seek emotional distress damages for alleged whistleblower retaliation under Florida law, the Eleventh Circuit in Smith v. Psychiatric Solutions, Inc., 750 F.3d 1253 (11th Cir. May 6,...more

7/11/2014 - Attorney's Fees Emotional Distress Damages Employer Liability Issues Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblowers

SEC Brings First Dodd-Frank Anti-Retaliation Case

The SEC recently issued an Order against Paradigm Capital Management, Inc. (Paradigm), a registered investment adviser, and its principal for allegedly engaging in principal trades without effective client disclosure and...more

6/27/2014 - Dodd-Frank Enforcement Actions Retaliation SEC

Nebraska District Court: Employee’s Disclosures To FINRA Make Her A Dodd-Frank Whistleblower

In a first-impression decision, the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska recently ruled that an employee who disclosed information about potential securities law violations to FINRA may qualify as a...more

6/3/2014 - Adverse Employment Action Dodd-Frank FINRA Hiring & Firing Retaliation SEC Securities Whistleblowers

S.D.N.Y. Takes Broad Approach To SOX and Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claims

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York recently denied a motion to dismiss a plaintiff’s SOX and Dodd-Frank whistleblower claims, ruling that (i) the plaintiff engaged in SOX protected activity even...more

5/28/2014 - Dodd-Frank Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

New York Court of Appeals Expands Potential For State Whistleblower Claims

The New York Court of Appeals recently ruled that a whistleblower need not plead the specific “law, rule or regulation” that the employer purportedly violated to state a cause of action under the New York whistleblower...more

5/20/2014 - Appeals Employer Liability Issues Pleading Standards Whistleblowers

4th Circuit: SOX Whistleblower Failed To Establish A Prima Facie Case Regarding Causation

On May 12, 2014, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment on a SOX whistleblower claim, concluding that the whistleblowers’ alleged protected activity was not a “contributing factor” in the challenged...more

5/16/2014 - Adverse Employment Action Causation Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Asks Congress to Increase OSH Act Whistleblower Statute of...

On April 29, 2014, David Michaels, the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, testified before the U.S. Senate subcommittee of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions regarding...more

5/7/2014 - OSHA Statute of Limitations Whistleblowers

OSHA Releases Interim Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Regulations

OSHA recently released the interim final text of regulations implementing the whistleblower protection provision (Section 1057) in Dodd-Frank. The interim final regulations establish the timing and processes for handling...more

4/14/2014 - Administrative Review Board ALJ Dodd-Frank DOL OSHA Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Protection Policies

First-Ever SEC Bounty Winner Receives Additional Payout

The SEC Office of the Whistleblower recently announced that the first-ever whistleblower award under the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program will be increased by $150,000 based on additional assets the SEC collected from one the...more

4/9/2014 - Dodd-Frank SEC Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

$53 Million Paid To IRS Whistleblowers in 2013

As reported by The Washington Post, on April 4, 2014, the IRS issued its “Fiscal Year 2013 Report to the Congress on the Use of Section 7623” revealing that it paid whistleblowers $53 million in 2013. The agency said that it...more

4/9/2014 - IRS Whistleblower Awards

OSHA Issues Substantial Award To SOX Whistleblower Claiming “Blacklisting”

According to a news release from OSHA, OSHA recently ordered DISH Network (the “Company”) to pay a former employee over $257,000 in back wages and compensatory damages, plus reasonable attorneys’ fees, and to expunge his...more

4/2/2014 - Blacklist OSHA Sarbanes-Oxley

N.J. Court Sends Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claim To Arbitration

The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey recently held that the Dodd-Frank Act does not operate retroactively to bar pre-dispute arbitration agreements, and thus required a plaintiff to arbitrate his Dodd-Frank...more

3/21/2014 - Arbitration Dodd-Frank Whistleblowers

Illinois Whistleblower Awarded $3 Million Following Jury Trial

In what appears to be an alarming trend for employers, the Chicago Tribune recently reported that a former Chicago State University employee was awarded $3 million after a Cook County, Illinois jury found that the University...more

3/18/2014 - Corporate Counsel Jury Trial Jury Verdicts Retaliation Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

SEC Scrutinizing Contractual Impediments to Whistleblower Complaints

Sean McKessy (“McKessy”), the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) whistleblower chief, cautioned in-house attorneys who draft contracts incentivizing employees to report securities fraud complaints in-house rather...more

3/17/2014 - Corporate Counsel Retaliation SEC Securities Fraud Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

$6 Million SOX Whistleblower Verdict In California

On March 5, 2014, a California jury awarded $6 million to a former accounting executive at Playboy Enterprises Inc. (the “Company”), finding that the Company discharged the former employee in violation of Section 806 of SOX....more

3/11/2014 - Corporate Counsel Enforcement Actions Jury Verdicts Sarbanes-Oxley SEC

U.S. Supreme Court Extends SOX's Whistleblower Protection To Employees of Publicly Traded Company's Contractors

On March 4, 2014, the United States Supreme Court decided Lawson v. FMR LLC, holding that SOX's whistleblower protection extends to employees of a publicly traded company's contractors and subcontractors. Lawson v. FMR LLC,...more

3/7/2014 - Contractors Fidelity Investments FMR LLC Lawson v FMR Sarbanes-Oxley SCOTUS Subcontractors Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

U.S. Supreme Court Extends SOX’s Whistleblower Protection To Employees of Publicly Traded Company’s Contractors

On March 4, 2014, the United States Supreme Court in Lawson v. FMR LLC held that SOX’s whistleblower protection extends to employees of a publicly traded company’s contractors and subcontractors. Lawson v. FMR LLC, 572 U.S....more

3/5/2014 - Contractors Employee Definition Fidelity Investments FMR LLC Lawson v FMR Sarbanes-Oxley SCOTUS Securities Exchange Act Subcontractors Whistleblowers

Federal District Court Deepens Divide Over SOX Whistleblower “Protected Activity”

On February 21, 2014, the District of Puerto Rico strayed from a prominent decision out of the First Circuit that employed the “definitively and specifically” standard governing protected activity under Section 806 of SOX,...more

3/4/2014 - Protected Concerted Activity Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblowers

Story Behind $14M Whistleblower Bounty Award Begins To Surface

On November 19, 2013, we reported on a record-breaking $14 million whistleblower bounty payout by the SEC. Earlier today, the Wall Street Journal reported that this award arose from an alleged “Chicago-based scheme to defraud...more

2/28/2014 - SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

SEC’s Strategic Plan Includes Reliance On Whistleblower Tips

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published (for public comment) a draft strategic plan, which sets forth its goals and objectives for fiscal years 2014 through 2018. The SEC’s “strategic objectives” include:...more

2/11/2014 - Dodd-Frank Retaliation SEC Whistleblowers

ARB: “Clear And Convincing Evidence” Needed To Support After-Acquired Evidence Doctrine

The ARB recently ruled that an employer advancing an after-acquired evidence defense in an AIR 21 whistleblower case must prove the defense by clear and convincing evidence. Clemmons v. Ameristar Airways, Inc., ARB No....more

1/8/2014 - Clear and Convincing Evidence Evidence Whistleblowers

OSHA Introduces New Online Whistleblower Complaint Form

As first reported by Law 360 reporter Kat Greene on December 5, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) unveiled a new online complaint form to complement its telephone...more

12/10/2013 - OSHA Whistleblowers

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