Renee Phillips

Renee Phillips

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

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O Canada: The U.S.’s Neighbor To The North Proposes Its Own Whistleblower Program

The Ontario Securities Commission (“OSC”), Canada’s largest securities regulator, has proposed establishing its own whistleblower program for individuals to report suspected securities fraud, marking Canada’s first foray into...more

5/18/2016 - Canada Ontario Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) Whistleblowers

Maximizing Protections Under the Defend Trade Secrets Act: Confidentiality Agreements Need to be Changed

With President Barack Obama's signature on Wednesday, the Defend Trade Secrets Act ("DTSA" or "Act") has now become law. Where trade secrets were once protected only at the state level, the DTSA now federalizes trade secrets...more

5/16/2016 - Asset Seizure Confidentiality Agreements Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) Economic Espionage Act Ex Parte Intellectual Property Protection Misappropriation New Legislation Private Right of Action Trade Secrets Whistleblower Protection Policies

Understanding The Defend Trade Secrets Act

With its passage by the House of Representatives, the Defend Trade Secrets Act ("DTSA" or "Act") has now cleared both houses of Congress and will be sent to President Obama for his approval. Where trade secrets were once...more

5/6/2016 - Asset Seizure Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) Economic Espionage Act Ex Parte Intellectual Property Protection Misappropriation Pending Legislation Popular Private Right of Action Trade Secrets Whistleblower Protection Policies

Bonus Points: ARB Upholds Whistleblower Order Challenging Bonus Plan

The Department of Labor’s Administrative Review Board (“ARB”) recently upheld an order finding a semiconductor company had constructively discharged a manager who complained the company’s bonus plan violated state wage and...more

5/2/2016 - Administrative Review Board ALJ Bonuses Hiring & Firing Sarbanes-Oxley Wage and Hour Whistleblowers

Can You Hear The Whistle Blowing?: OECD Releases Report On Global Whistleblower Protections

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (“OECD”), an international organization whose goal is to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people across the world, recently...more

4/25/2016 - Anti-Retaliation Provisions Corporate Counsel OECD Private Sector Public Employees Whistleblowers Young Lawyers

Three’s Company: SEC Awards Nearly $2 Million to Whistleblower Trio

On March 8, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued an order awarding a trio of whistleblowers a bounty of almost $2 million. One whistleblower will receive the lion’s share of the bounty — $1.8 million —...more

3/10/2016 - Rule 21F SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

Where Have You Gone Dennis Kozlowski? Third Circuit Dismisses Tyco Employee’s Whistleblower Claim Over Excessive Corporate...

On February 2, 2016, the Third Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a long-running SOX whistleblower suit filed by Jeffrey Wiest, a former accounts payable manager for Tyco Electronics. The decision is the first in which the...more

2/9/2016 - Corporate Counsel Dismissals Hiring & Firing Popular Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley Tyco Whistleblowers

For Whom The Whistle Blows: SEC Whistleblower Office Issues Its 2015 Annual Report

The SEC released its Fiscal Year 2015 Annual Report (the “Report”) to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program on November 16, 2015. The Report analyzes the tips received over the last twelve months by the SEC’s...more

11/23/2015 - Anti-Retaliation Provisions Dodd-Frank Popular SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

Chief of SEC Whistleblower Office Shares Candid Assessment of Program’s Results to Date and Future Direction

On September 9, 2015, Sean McKessy, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower (OWB) spoke at Thomson Reuters’ 4th Annual Corporate Whistleblower Program in New York. With the standard disclaimer that his comments and...more

9/16/2015 - Dodd-Frank Financial Institutions Financial Markets FINRA Investigations Rule 21F SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

SEC Guidance Supports its Position That Internal Whistleblowers are Protected Under Dodd-Frank

On August 4, 2015 the Securities and Exchange Commission issued interpretive guidance elaborating its view that the anti-retaliation provisions in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act apply equally to...more

8/7/2015 - Anti-Retaliation Provisions Chevron Deference Dodd-Frank FCPA Financial Institutions Financial Markets Internal Reporting Retaliation Rule 21F Sarbanes-Oxley SEC TD Ameritrade Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

SEC Guidance Supports its Position That Internal Whistleblowers are Protected Under Dodd-Frank

On August 4, 2015 the Securities and Exchange Commission issued interpretive guidance elaborating its view that the anti-retaliation provisions in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act apply equally to...more

8/7/2015 - Anti-Retaliation Provisions Bank of America Chevron Deference Citigroup Dodd-Frank FCPA Internal Reporting Popular Rule 21F Sarbanes-Oxley SCOTUS SEC TD Ameritrade Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

Sixth Circuit Affirms $250K Victory to SOX Whistleblower and Provides Broad Interpretation of SOX

On May 28, 2015, the Sixth Circuit in Rhinehimer v. U.S. Bancorp Investments, Inc. affirmed a $250,000 jury verdict in favor of a former financial advisor for U.S. Bancorp Investments (“USBII”) who alleged that he had been...more

6/12/2015 - Adverse Employment Action Employer Liability Issues Financial Adviser Hiring & Firing Jury Verdicts Popular Protected Activity Sarbanes-Oxley US Bancorp Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

$6 Million Verdict for SOX Whistleblower Leads to Malpractice Suit Against Defense Counsel

Playboy Enterprises is suing its former defense counsel Sheppard Mullin after being hit with a $6 million jury verdict in a SOX whistleblower case, the highest jury award in a SOX case to date. In Zulfer v. Playboy...more

4/27/2015 - Attorney Malpractice Playboy Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblowers

SEC Makes Good on Its Promise to “Un-Muzzle” Employees from Cooperating in SEC Investigations

In a much-anticipated move, the SEC on April 1, 2015 commenced a cease-and-desist action against KBR (formerly Kellogg Brown & Root) alleging its confidentiality agreements violated Dodd-Frank’s whistleblower regulations. KBR...more

4/3/2015 - Confidentiality Agreements Contract Terms Enforcement Actions KBR (formerly Kellogg Brown & Root) SEC Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

Show Me The Money: Yes, Even Corporate Officers Can Collect Dodd-Frank Bounty Awards

On March 2, 2015, the SEC announced a whistleblower bounty award of between $475,000 and $575,000, its 15th under the Dodd-Frank whistleblower program. While the SEC’s order is scant on detail, it does disclose that the award...more

3/12/2015 - Corporate Officers Dodd-Frank Popular SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

High Court Says “Let It Ride”; Limo Company Fails to Flag Down Enough Justices to Hear PAGA Carve-out Case

On January 20, the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari in CLS Transportation Los Angeles LLC v. Iskanian, leaving intact a decision by the California Supreme Court holding that representative Private Attorney...more

1/28/2015 - Arbitration Class Action Class Action Arbitration Waivers Employer Liability Issues Employment Contract Federal Arbitration Act Iskanian v CLS Transportation PAGA Petition for Writ of Certiorari SCOTUS Trucking Industry

The Split Deepens: New York District Court Holds Internal Reporting Not Protected Under Dodd-Frank

In Berman V. Neo@Ogilvy LLC, 1:14-cv-523 (Dec. 4, 2014), Judge Gregory Woods of the Southern District of New York dismissed a Dodd-Frank whistleblower retaliation claim on the ground that internal reporting is not protected...more

12/15/2014 - Dodd-Frank Internal Investigations Popular Retaliation Whistleblowers

Third Circuit Issues First Appellate Decision Compelling Arbitration of Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claim

In Khazin v. TD Ameritrade, No. 14-1689, 2014 WL 6871393 (3rd Cir. Dec. 8, 2014), the Third Circuit affirmed a lower court’s decision compelling arbitration of a Dodd-Frank whistleblower retaliation claim. This is the first...more

12/12/2014 - Arbitration Arbitration Agreements Dodd-Frank Employment Contract Hiring & Firing Popular Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley TD Ameritrade Whistleblowers Wrongful Termination

Shake It Off: Employer Misclassification of Exotic Dancers under the Fair Labor Standards Act

Recently, there’s been a wave of Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) rulings adverse to employers in the adult entertainment industry. Early this year, a Southern District of New York judge approved an $8 million settlement for...more

12/3/2014 - Adult Entertainment Class Action Corporate Counsel Employer Liability Issues Entertainment Industry FLSA Independent Contractors Misclassification

Office of Whistleblower Annual Report (Version 2014); More of the Same or Progress on Dodd-Frank Objectives?

The SEC released its Fiscal Year 2014 Annual Report (the “Report”) to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program on November 18, 2014. The Report analyzes the tips received over the last twelve months by the SEC’s...more

11/20/2014 - Annual Reports Dodd-Frank Popular SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblower Protection Policies

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Document Preservation Notices Can Lead to SOX Violation!

On November 12, 2014, the Fifth Circuit affirmed a Department of Labor finding that Halliburton retaliated against a whistleblower by including his name in a document preservation notice. The court also held that emotional...more

11/18/2014 - Administrative Review Board Adverse Employment Action DOL Halliburton Litigation Hold Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblowers

SEC Puts Their Money Where Their Mouth Is: $30 Million Awarded to Whistleblower

On September 22, 2014, the SEC announced its largest whistleblower award to date under its Dodd-Frank whistleblower bounty program. It awarded $30-$35 million to an anonymous whistleblower who the Commission said provided...more

9/25/2014 - Compliance Dodd-Frank Enforcement Enforcement Actions SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee Discusses Planning, New Initiatives

OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee (“WPAC”) met on September 3-4, 2014. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor, OSHA, addressed the Committee and discussed recent results and initiatives of OSHA’s...more

9/18/2014 - OSHA Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

Calling All California Employers: You Must Reimburse Employees for Mandatory Use of Their Personal Cell Phones Even if They Have...

A California appellate court recently held that employers are always required to reimburse employees for mandatory use of their personal cell phones, even if they do not incur any additional expense for doing so. The case is...more

9/8/2014 - Bring Your Own Device Cell Phones Corporate Counsel Employer Liability Issues Mobile Devices Reimbursements

Second Circuit Holds Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Provision Does Not Apply Extraterritorially

Last week, in Liu v. Siemens, AG, the Second Circuit held that the Dodd-Frank Act’s whistleblower retaliation provision (15 U.S.C. 78u-6(h)(1)) does not apply extraterritorially, in the first Second Circuit decision to...more

8/19/2014 - Anti-Retaliation Provisions Chief Compliance Officers Dodd-Frank Extraterritoriality Rules FCPA Popular Sarbanes-Oxley Siemens Whistleblowers

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