Harris M. Mufson

Harris M. Mufson

Proskauer Rose LLP

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SEC Continues To Scrutinize Separation Agreements

On August 16, 2016, the SEC announced that Health Net Inc. (Company) agreed to pay a $340,000 penalty to settle charges that it violated Rule 21F-17 by using severance agreements that allegedly prohibited its employees from...more

8/19/2016 - Cease and Desist Confidentiality Agreements Dodd-Frank Enforcement Actions Fines Health Net SEC Securities Exchange Act Severance Agreements Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

Wisconsin District Court Follows 5th Circuit: Internal Tipsters Are Not Considered “Whistleblowers” Under Dodd-Frank

On August 12, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in Lamb v. Rockwell Automation Inc., No. 15-CV-1415-JPS (E.D. Wis. Aug. 12, 2016) held that the Dodd-Frank whistleblower protection provision...more

8/17/2016 - Agency Deference Dodd-Frank Internal Reporting Motion to Dismiss Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley SEC Securities Violations Split of Authority Whistleblower Protection Policies Wrongful Termination

SEC Affirms Denial of Bounties to Three Purported Whistleblowers

On July 19, 2016, the SEC issued an order upholding the SEC Claims Review Staff’s (“CRS”) Preliminary Determination denying three claims for whistleblower awards. The SEC’s order explains how the claimants’ bounty requests...more

7/21/2016 - Enforcement Actions Government Investigations SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

SEC Whistleblower Chief Sean McKessy to Leave, Agency Announces

On July 8, 2016, the SEC announced the departure of Sean X. McKessy, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower. Mr. McKessy was the first to hold that role and started his post in February 2011. Mr. McKessy is credited...more

7/11/2016 - Dodd-Frank SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

SEC Issues Two Multi-Million Dollar Whistleblower Awards

Over the past week, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced two multi-million dollar awards to whistleblowers who provided the SEC with information in ongoing investigations. On May 13, 2016, the...more

5/18/2016 - Corporate Counsel Dodd-Frank Enforcement Actions Government Investigations SEC Securities Exchange Act Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

In 10-1 Verdict, Jury Finds No FCA Violation by Abbott Laboratories

On April 7, 2016, after just three hours of deliberations following a three-week trial, a federal jury dismissed False Claims Act (“FCA”) claims against Abbott Laboratories brought by a whistleblowing former employee.  The...more

4/11/2016 - Abbott Laboratories False Claims Act (FCA) Former Employee Jury Verdicts Off-Label Promotion Off-Label Use Pharmaceutical Industry Prescription Drugs Whistleblowers

SEC Intervenes In Former In-House Attorney’s Whistleblower Lawsuit

On March 28, 2016, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filed an amicus brief in a whistleblower lawsuit brought by a former in-house attorney against Vanguard Group (the “Company”).  The case is Danon v....more

4/4/2016 - Amicus Briefs Corporate Counsel Dodd-Frank Internal Reporting Protected Activity Retaliation SEC Termination Vanguard Whistleblowers Young Lawyers

Critic of High-Frequency Trading Receives SEC Whistleblower Bounty Award

According to a MarketWatch report, Eric Hunsader of Nanex LLC has identified himself as is the recipient of a more than $700,000 Dodd-Frank whistleblower bounty award.  According to Hunsader, the information he provided to...more

3/9/2016 - Dodd-Frank NYSE SEC Securities Violations Third-Party Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

EEOC Proposes Expansive Enforcement Guidance for Retaliation Claims

For the first time in nearly 20 years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued proposed enforcement guidance regarding retaliation claims. According to the EEOC, the revised guidance is necessary in light of...more

2/5/2016 - ADA Best Practices But For Causation Comment Period EEOC Enforcement Guidance Retaliation SCOTUS Title VII UT Southwestern Medical v Nassar

SEC Awards Whistleblower More Than $700,000

On January 15, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Whistleblower (“OWB”) announced the award of more than $700,000 to a “company outsider who conducted a detailed analysis that led to a successful SEC...more

1/27/2016 - Enforcement Actions SEC Securities Violations Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

Tennessee District Court Limits Scope of Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claim

The Eastern District of Tennessee recently dismissed whistleblower claims, finding that the Plaintiff was not entitled to protection under Sarbanes-Oxley, Dodd-Frank, or the False Claims Act (“FCA”). Verble v. Morgan Stanley...more

12/18/2015 - Dodd-Frank False Claims Act (FCA) Morgan Stanley Popular Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley SEC Whistleblowers

OSHA Releases FY 2015 Stats Showing An Increase In Whistleblower Claims

According to figures recently released by OSHA, there has been a general increase in the number of whistleblower cases filed in fiscal year 2015 (FY 2015), in comparison to the number of cases filed in FY 2014.  Here are some...more

11/30/2015 - CFPA Dodd-Frank OSHA Popular Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblowers

Highlights of SEC’s 2015 Annual Whistleblower Report

On November 16, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Whistleblower (“OWB”) released its fifth Annual Report on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program to Congress, which details information on OWB’s...more

11/19/2015 - Confidentiality Agreements Dodd-Frank Enforcement Actions SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

ARB Rejects CFPA Whistleblower Claim On Protected Activity Grounds

On November 6, 2015, the DOL’s Administrative Review Board affirmed the dismissal of Consumer Financial Protection Act (“CFPA”) whistleblower claims of a terminated mortgage broker, concluding that the complainant did not...more

11/13/2015 - Administrative Review Board CFPA DOL Mortgage Brokers Protected Activity Termination Whistleblowers

SEC Pays Whistleblower Bounty Award Exceeding $325,000

On November 4, 2015, the SEC announced that it would pay a former investment firm employee a whistleblower bounty award totaling more than $325,000. Notably, the SEC’s Order indicated that the award was decreased “because...more

11/10/2015 - Delays Enforcement Actions Popular SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

ARB Rules That Secret Recording of Workplace Conversations Can Be Protected Whistleblowing Activity

On September 28, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor Administrative Review Board (“ARB”) held that the recording of workplace conversations can be protected whistleblower activity under the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974...more

10/13/2015 - Administrative Review Board Anti-Retaliation Provisions Audio Recording Consent DOE DOL Employee Handbooks Energy Reorganization Act Insubordination Policy Protected Activity Tape Recordings Termination Whistleblowers Workplace Communication

California District Court Follows Asadi, Dismisses Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claim

On September 8, 2015, the United States District Court for the Central District of California dismissed a whistleblower retaliation claim, ruling that Dodd-Frank’s anti-retaliation provision only protects whistleblowers who...more

9/24/2015 - Anti-Retaliation Provisions Dodd-Frank Internal Reporting SEC Split of Authority Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers Wrongful Termination

Second Circuit: Dodd-Frank Protects Internal Whistleblowers

On September 10, 2015, the Second Circuit issued its highly anticipated decision in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy, ruling (in a 2-1 decision) that Dodd-Frank’s whistleblower protection provision applies to internal complaints (i.e.,...more

9/11/2015 - Accounting Fraud Ambiguous Anti-Retaliation Provisions Chevron Deference Dodd-Frank DOL Internal Reporting Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley SEC Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers Wrongful Termination

New Jersey District Court: Dodd-Frank Protects Internal Whistleblower

Further reflecting the divide amongst courts regarding the definition of “whistleblower” under the Dodd-Frank Act, the District Court of New Jersey recently held that an employee who internally reports an alleged securities...more

8/27/2015 - Anti-Retaliation Provisions Dodd-Frank Internal Reporting SEC Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers Wrongful Termination

SEC Issues Interpretive Rule Regarding Definition of Dodd-Frank “Whistleblower”

In response to the disagreement amongst courts regarding the scope of Dodd-Frank’s employment retaliation protections, on August 4, 2015, the SEC issued an “interpretive rule” clarifying that individuals who have not reported...more

8/6/2015 - Anti-Retaliation Provisions Dodd-Frank Internal Reporting Interpretive Rule Investor Protection Sarbanes-Oxley SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

New York’s First Department: Harassment Claims Not Barred By Whistleblower Claim

As reported by New York Law Journal reporter Ben Bedell, the New York’s Appellate Division, First Department recently held that employees could file suit against their former employer for both sexual harassment and violation...more

7/30/2015 - Banks Employer Liability Issues Former Employee NYCHRL Retaliation Sexual Harassment Whistleblowers

SEC Pays More Than $3 Million Whistleblower Award

On July 17, 2015, the SEC announced a whistleblower award of more than $3 million to a “company insider” whose information assisted the SEC in unveiling a “complex fraud.” This payout (which is the SEC’s third largest)...more

7/24/2015 - Dodd-Frank SEC Securities Fraud Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

CFTC Whistleblower Awards On The Horizon

In a recent interview with Law360 (subscription required), Chris Ehrman, the Director of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Whistleblower Office, predicted that the number and size of the CFTC’s whistleblower...more

5/8/2015 - CFTC Enforcement Actions Marketing Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

SEC Awards Compliance Officer Whistleblower Bounty of Approximately $1.5 Million

Wednesday, the SEC announced that it would pay an unidentified compliance officer a whistleblower bounty award of between $1.4 and $1.6 million. This is the second award that the SEC has made to a whistleblower with internal...more

4/23/2015 - Chief Compliance Officers Corporate Counsel Enforcement Actions Internal Audit Functions SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

Petition Urges DOL To Target Contractual Clauses Discouraging Whistleblowing

The Government Accountability Project (GAP) and Zuckerman Law recently petitioned the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) to issue rules and guidance prohibiting “de facto” gag clauses in settlement and severance agreements that...more

4/13/2015 - DOL FINRA Protected Activity SEC Settlement Agreements Severance Agreements Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

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