Harris M. Mufson

Harris M. Mufson

Proskauer Rose LLP

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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

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

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

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

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

Virginia District Court Opens Door To Front Pay For SOX Whistleblowers

In a SOX whistleblower case of first impression, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled that front pay may be ordered in lieu of reinstatement. However, the court ultimately determined that front...more

12/3/2013 - Front Pay Reinstatement Sarbanes-Oxley SEC Whistleblowers

Record-breaking $14m Payout Highlight of SEC’s Annual Report

On November 15, 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Office of the Whistleblower (OWB) released its third Annual Report on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program to Congress, which details information on OWB’s...more

11/20/2013 - SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

OSHA Issues Another $1 Million+ Whistleblower Award, Along With Reinstatement

On November 13, 2013, OSHA issued a press release stating that it ordered Gaines Motor Lines (the “Company”) to pay a total of $1,070,123 four whistleblowers, along with reinstatement. The press release indicates that...more

11/19/2013 - DOT OSHA Reinstatement Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

Major Media Outlets Quote Lloyd Chinn On Sox Whistleblower Case Before Supreme Court

In a recent Wall Street Journal (“WSJ”) article (subscription required), Lloyd Chinn, Co-head of Proskauer’s Whistleblower & Retaliation Group, commented on Lawson v. FMR LLC, a case before the U.S. Supreme Court concerning...more

11/18/2013 - Sarbanes-Oxley SCOTUS 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

U.S. Supreme Court Considers the Scope of SOX’s Whistleblower Provision

On November 12, 2013, the United States Supreme Court heard oral argument in Lawson v. FMR LLC to decide whether Sarbanes-Oxley’s whistleblower protection extends to employees of a publicly traded company’s contractors. ...more

11/13/2013 - Sarbanes-Oxley SCOTUS Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

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

OSHA Awards $1.9 Million To SOX Whistleblower

On September 30, 2013, OSHA awarded more than $1.9 million to a former CFO of Clean Diesel Technologies, Inc. (the Company) (based in Ventura, California) who is not identified in OSHA’s press release. This award is based on...more

10/9/2013 - OSHA Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

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