Harris M. Mufson

Harris M. Mufson

Proskauer Rose LLP

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E.D. Pennsylvania Limits Protected Activity Under SOX

In Westawski v. Merck & Co., No. 14-cv-3239 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 18, 2016), the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted Defendant Merck & Co. (Company) summary judgment on Plaintiff Joni Westawski’s (Plaintiff) SOX whistleblower...more

10/31/2016 - Adverse Employment Action Anti-Retaliation Provisions Dodd-Frank Fraud Hiring & Firing Internal Controls Mail Fraud Market Research Merck Protected Activity Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley Securities Securities Fraud Securities Violations Summary Judgment Termination Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers Wire Fraud

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 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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

Georgia Federal Court Rules That Dodd-Frank Whistleblowers Are Not Entitled To A Jury Trial

On November 12, 2013, a Georgia district court ruled that Dodd-Frank whistleblowers are not entitled to a jury trial or punitive damages. Pruett v. BlueLinx Holdings, Inc., No. 13-cv-02607 (N.D. Ga., Nov. 12, 2013). This is a...more

11/14/2013 - Dodd-Frank Jury Trial Punitive Damages Retaliation Trials Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

N.D. Ill. Denies Employer Summary Judgment On Retaliation Claim, Stressing Shifting Explanation For Discharge

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois recently ruled that a retaliation claim survived summary judgment because of the “convincing mosaic” of evidence of retaliation the Plaintiff presented,...more

11/12/2013 - Discrimination EEOC Evidence Hiring & Firing Retaliation Summary Judgment Termination

SDNY Says No Extraterritorial Application For Dodd-Frank Anti-Retaliation Provision

In Liu v. Siemens A.G., No. 13 Civ. 317 (WHP), slip op. (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 21, 2013), the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York held that the anti-retaliation protections found in Section 922 of the Dodd-Frank...more

10/23/2013 - Anti-Retaliation Provisions Dodd-Frank Employer Liability Issues Extraterritoriality Rules Multinationals Retaliation Whistleblowers

Sixth Circuit: Failure to Exhaust Administrative Remedies Not A Jurisdictional Bar For Title VII Retaliation Claim

On August 13, 2013, the Sixth Circuit reinstated a retaliation claim under Title VII, reversing the dismissal of the claim on jurisdictional grounds for failure to exhaust administrative remedies with the EEOC....more

8/27/2013 - Administrative Remedies Civil Rights Act EEOC Jurisdiction Retaliation Title VII Whistleblowers

NJ Jury Renders $2.1 Million Punitive Damage Award in Whistleblower Case

In a recent lawsuit before the Superior Court of New Jersey in Hudson County, a jury unanimously awarded $2.1 million in punitive damages to a hospital lab technician after finding his employer retaliated against him for...more

6/24/2013 - CEPA Jury Verdicts Punitive Damages Retaliation Whistleblowers

U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Whether SOX’s Whistleblower Provision Protects Employees of Publicly Traded Company’s Contractors

On May 20, 2013, the United States Supreme Court granted a petition for a writ of certiorari to review the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit’s decision holding that SOX’s whistleblower protection does not...more

5/21/2013 - Contractors OSHA Publicly-Traded Companies Retaliation SCOTUS Whistleblowers

Law360 Quotes Steve Pearlman on Keeping Whistleblower Complaints In-House

In a Law360 article (subscription required), Steve Pearlman, co-head of Proskauer’s Whistleblowing & Retaliation Group, offered ways for companies to minimize their potential whistleblower liability....more

5/9/2013 - Compliance Human Resources Professionals Retaliation Risk Management Whistleblowers

Fifth Circuit: No Fee Shifting For Title VII Mixed-Motive Retaliation Claims

On April 3, 2013, the Fifth Circuit affirmed a ruling from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas that a plaintiff was not entitled to attorney’s fees and costs under Title VII (42 U.S.C. § 2000 e-5(g))...more

4/18/2013 - Discrimination Fee-Shifting Harassment Mixed Motive Cases Retaliation Title VII

District of Colorado Expansively Construes Protected Activity Under Dodd-Frank, But Finds No Causation

The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado followed a trend of decisions concluding that a plaintiff need not have provided the SEC with information regarding alleged federal securities law violations to pursue a...more

4/5/2013 - Dodd-Frank Hiring & Firing Protected Activity Retaliation SEC Termination Whistleblowers

Inside Counsel Quotes Proskauer’s Commentary on the Increasing Number of OSHA Complaints

In an article published in InsideCounsel, Steve Pearlman, co-head of Proskauer’s Whistleblowing & Retaliation Group, lent his insight into recently released statistics showing a thirty-percent increase in the number of...more

4/4/2013 - OSHA Retaliation Whistleblowers

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