Harris M. Mufson

Harris M. Mufson

Proskauer Rose LLP

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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

SEC Announces Enforcement Action Regarding Employee Confidentiality Agreement

On April 1, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its first settlement of an enforcement action under the SEC’s Rule 21F-17, which prohibits any person from taking “any action to impede an individual from...more

4/7/2015 - Confidentiality Agreements Enforcement Actions Internal Investigations KBR (formerly Kellogg Brown & Root) Rule 21F SEC Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

SEC’s Limit on Retroactivity of Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Bounty Awards Is Reasonable, Second Circuit Holds

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently deferred to the SEC’s determination that a tipster who provided information to the Commission before July 21, 2010, the effective date of the Dodd-Frank Act, is not eligible to...more

3/24/2015 - Dodd-Frank SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

NY Whistleblower Bounty Program On The Horizon?

NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman recently announced his plans to propose legislation that would create a whistleblower incentive program at the state level. The proposal, titled the Financial Frauds Whistleblower Act,...more

3/6/2015 - Attorney Generals Banking Sector Financial Services Industry Insurance Industry Proposed Legislation Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

SEC Continues to Investigate Contractual Impediments to Whistleblower Complaints

As Rachel Louise Ensign reported earlier this week in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) continues to probe obstacles to corporate employees blowing the whistle. This...more

3/2/2015 - Audits Confidentiality Agreements Dodd-Frank Non-Compete Agreements SEC Settlement Agreements Strategic Enforcement Plan Whistleblowers

Consumer Financial Product Whistleblower Complaints Up Dramatically, SOX Complaints (with OSHA) Down

Since the enactment of Dodd-Frank in 2010, the number of whistleblower complaints filed under the Consumer Financial Protection Act (“CFPA”) has risen significantly while the number of SOX complaints filed with OSHA has...more

1/7/2015 - CFPA Consumer Financial Products Dodd-Frank Financial Institutions OSHA Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

SDNY Follows Asadi: Internal Tipsters Not Dodd-Frank “Whistleblowers”

On December 5, 2014, the Southern District of New York in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy, No. 14-cv-523, ruled that an employee who complains internally about securities law violations does not qualify as a “whistleblower” under the...more

12/29/2014 - Dodd-Frank Employer Liability Issues Internal Reporting SEC Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

New York Times Discusses the Growth of Whistleblower Programs

As federal agencies dole out record-breaking awards to tipsters (such as the SEC’s recent $30 million award), whistleblower programs remain a topic of public interest. Earlier this month, The New York Times published an...more

12/23/2014 - DOJ Enforcement Actions IRS New York Times SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

5th Circuit: Outing Whistleblower Equals Adverse Action

On November 12, 2014, in Halliburton, Inc. v. Admin. Review Bd., 5th Cir. No. 13-cv-60323, the Fifth Circuit affirmed an ARB’s decision that disclosing the identity of a whistleblower may constitute an “adverse action” under...more

11/18/2014 - Administrative Review Board Adverse Employment Action Corporate Counsel Employer Liability Issues Halliburton Litigation Hold Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblowers

Court Follows 5th Circuit Asadi Decision, Dismisses Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claim

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in Verfuerth v. Orion Energy Systems, Inc., No. 14-cv-352 (E.D. Wis. Nov. 4, 2014) recently ruled that the Dodd-Frank whistleblower protection provision does not...more

11/12/2014 - Dodd-Frank Federal Rule 12(b)(6) Federal Rules of Civil Procedure SEC Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

Third Circuit Sizes Up Dodd-Frank’s Anti-Arbitration Provision

On October 24, 2014, in Khazin v. TD Ameritrade Holding Corp, et al., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit heard oral argument on an issue of first impression (within that forum): whether Dodd-Frank applies...more

11/3/2014 - Appeals Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Commodities Exchange Act Dodd-Frank Oral Argument Retroactive Application Sarbanes-Oxley TD Ameritrade Whistleblowers

Administrative Review Board Clarifies Causation Burdens in SOX Whistleblower Cases

The ARB recently clarified the competing burdens of proof on issues of causation for whistleblower retaliation cases arising under SOX Section 806 and other whistleblower protection statutes. In particular, in Fordham v....more

10/31/2014 - Burden of Proof Causation Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

FINRA Again Cautions Against Confidentiality Provisions Silencing Whistleblowers

As reported this week by Law360 (subscription required), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently issued a reminder (Regulatory Notice 14-40) warning firms against the use of confidentiality provisions in...more

10/20/2014 - Compliance Confidentiality Agreements Employer Liability Issues FINRA SEC Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

SDNY Dismisses Extraterritorial SOX and Dodd Frank Whistleblower Claims

Failing to heed a powerful message from the Second Circuit, overseas plaintiffs are continuing to seek to pursue SOX and Dodd-Frank whistleblower claims. On September 30, 2014, the Southern District of New York in Ulrich v....more

10/17/2014 - Anti-Retaliation Provisions Dismissals Dodd-Frank Extraterritoriality Rules Moody's Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblowers

Second Circuit To Decide Retroactivity of Dodd-Frank Bounty Provision

As discussed in a Law360 article by Ed Beeson, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals will decide in Stryker v. SEC, No. 13-cv-4404, whether the SEC needs to pay Dodd-Frank whistleblower bounties to tipsters who provided...more

10/1/2014 - Appeals Dodd-Frank Retroactivity SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

SEC Announces $30 Million-Plus Whistleblower Award

The SEC announced an expected award of more than $30 million to a foreign whistleblower who provided “key original information” that led to a successful enforcement action by the agency. The award will be the largest made by...more

9/24/2014 - Enforcement Enforcement Actions SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

Larger Rewards For Wall Street Whistleblowers May Be On The Horizon

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the Obama administration will seek to remove the $1.6 million cap on rewards to whistleblowers who provide evidence of criminal conduct by financial executives under the 1989 Financial...more

9/18/2014 - Compliance Dodd-Frank Enforcement Enforcement Actions FIRREA Popular SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers White Collar Crimes

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

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