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A Look Back at SEC Whistleblowers in 2014

In retrospect, 2014 has to be considered a success for the whistleblower program run by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This year, whistleblowers who earned awards through the SEC earned more money...more

1/27/2015 - Enforcement Actions Popular Retaliation SEC Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

OSHA Hands Down Record Award Under Federal Railroad Safety Act

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) gave a MTA Metro-North railroad employee a record award under the Federal Railroad Safety Act after they suffered an injury in 2011. The $250,000 in punitive damages...more

1/20/2015 - Adverse Employment Action Compensatory Damages Employer Liability Issues Federal Railroad Safety Act OSHA Popular Punitive Damages Railroads Retaliation Workplace Hazards Workplace Injury

Minnesota Overturns Precedent By Extending Whistleblower Statute of Limitations

On December 15, the Court of Appeals for the state of Minnesota made a decision that reversed 20 years of precedent by extending the Minnesota Whistleblower Act’s statute of limitations from two to six years. The decision...more

1/16/2015 - Appeals Public Schools Statute of Limitations Time Extensions Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

Whistleblowers on Wall Street Could Earn Share of $425 Million Pot

Since the establishment of the SEC Whistleblower Program, there have been a lot more highly publicized cases of whistleblowers coming forward and revealing wrongdoing within their organizations, specifically in regard to...more

1/13/2015 - SEC Wall Street Whistleblower Awards Whistleblower Protection Policies

Judge Will Allow Dow Whistleblower to File Wrongful Termination Suit

A federal judge is allowing an ex-fraud investigator for Dow Chemical Co. to pursue a wrongful termination claim. Kimberly Wood, who had worked for 25 years at Dow before the company fired her in October, alleges that the...more

1/9/2015 - Adverse Employment Action C-Suite Executives Dow Chemical Employer Liability Issues Internal Investigations Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblowers Willful Misconduct Wrongful Termination

Bank of America Whistleblower Wins $57 Million Decision

In what is being considered a record, landmark case, a former bank executive at Countrywide Financial (now owned by Bank of America Corporation) was awarded $57 million for exposing the presence of fraud in the company’s...more

1/6/2015 - Popular

Former St. Petersburg VA Attorney Files Whistleblower Suit

Javier Soto was at one point a Ratings Benefits Services Representative for the St. Petersburg region office of the Department of Veterans Affairs. However, after he released a report that spoke to the “poor, inept and...more

12/30/2014 - Adverse Employment Action Department of Veterans Affairs Hiring & Firing Public Employers Whistleblowers Wrongful Termination

Study Shows Companies Face Larger Penalties When Whistleblowers Involved

A recently published study indicates that companies face much larger monetary penalties whenever a whistleblower is involved in enforcement actions against the company. In an average case, those companies paid penalties that...more

12/29/2014 - Civil Monetary Penalty Corporate Counsel Employer Liability Issues Enforcement Actions OSHA Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

Senators Present New Whistleblower Law for Auto Industry

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla) recently presented a new piece of legislation that will protect the rights of whistleblowers within the auto industry, and offer them the potential to be paid millions of...more

12/24/2014 - Auto Manufacturers Automotive Industry Employer Liability Issues New Legislation Whistleblower Awards Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

Whistleblower Takes Next Step in Lawsuit Against Philadelphia School District

Four years ago, Francis X. Dougherty was fired after revealing the existence of a $7.5 million no-bid security camera contract within the Philadelphia School District. Now, he has won a major victory in his whistleblower...more

12/22/2014 - Adverse Employment Action First Amendment Public Schools School Districts Whistleblowers

UPS Changes Pregnant Worker Policy with Case Pending in Supreme Court

According to a memo recently sent out to all UPS employees, as of January 1, 2015 the company will offer its temporary light duty positions to pregnant workers as well as workers that have suffered injuries on the job. This...more

12/12/2014 - Pregnancy Pregnancy Discrimination Reasonable Accommodation UPS

11th Circuit Brings Back Part of Whistleblower Suit

According to the ruling of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a former health care executive that exposed a kickback and illegal referral scheme by his employer will be allowed to proceed with certain allegations listed...more

12/9/2014 - Appeals False Claims Act Healthcare Facilities Kickbacks Qui Tam Stark Law Whistleblowers

SEC Will Pay Largest Whistleblower Award Yet

The SEC’s whistleblower office has been in place since 2011, and in that time has handed out nine monetary awards to whistleblowers. It is about to hand out its largest award yet: a minimum $30 million reward to an...more

12/1/2014 - SEC Securities Fraud Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

Army Attempted to Fire Whistleblower in Unearned Pay Scandal

Kenneth Delano, an Army civilian police officer, recently became aware of a situation in which he claims that other officers on the force were receiving more pay than they had earned. After he alerted his superiors to these...more

11/26/2014 - Adverse Employment Action Army Employer Liability Issues Retaliation Whistleblowers Wrongful Termination

Department of Justice Continues to Ignore Wall Street Whistleblowers

Attorney General Eric Holder has spoken a lot about the need for help from whistleblowers who can provide evidence to the Department of Justice about the crimes committed on Wall Street from September 2008 and onward....more

11/18/2014 - Banks BNP Paribas Credit Suisse DOJ Wall Street Whistleblowers

Texas Supreme Court to Weigh In on Shell Defamation Suit

The Texas Supreme Court recently agreed to hear Shell Oil Co.’s pending defamation case. Robert Writt, a former Shell employee, sued the company for defamation after Shell submitted a report to the Department of Justice about...more

11/11/2014 - Compliance Defamation DOJ Employer Liability Issues FCPA Popular Shell Oil

SEC Whistleblower Office Reaches Three-Year Anniversary

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Whistleblower has only been open since August 2011, yet it has already made a pretty big name for itself in protecting the rights of whistleblowers and...more

11/7/2014 - Dodd-Frank SEC Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

Agencies Still Falling Short of Federal Whistleblower Protection Standards

While there are more laws in place than ever before regarding the fair treatment and protection of whistleblowers in the United States, there are still some government agencies that are falling short of complying with the...more

11/4/2014 - Employer Liability Issues Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

Costs for FCPA Investigations Can Be Huge, Making Insurance Coverage Important

Investigations under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) can quickly become extremely costly. In fact, Walmart recently spent more than $439 million within a two-year span on these types of investigations alone. While...more

10/31/2014 - D&O Insurance FCPA Internal Investigations Wal-Mart

NLRB Rules that Facebook “Likes” are Protected By Labor Law

One provision of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) states that employees are protected from any form of employer retaliation when they commit “concerted protected activity,” which essentially means any form of activity...more

10/28/2014 - DOL Employee Rights Facebook NLRA NLRB Social Media

Walgreens CFO Jettisoned After $1 Billion Forecasting Error

Walgreen Co. CFO Wade Miquelon and another high-ranking executive in the company were let go from their positions after the revelation of a $1 billion projection error affecting the corporation’s Medicare-related business....more

10/21/2014 - Walgreens

13 Fired After Department of Watershed Management Internal Investigation

The Atlanta Department of Watershed Management recently conducted an internal investigation after reports of theft and mismanagement arose from within the organization. Soon afterward, the department fired 13 unnamed...more

10/14/2014 - Internal Investigations Investigations Watershed

Important Considerations for Cohesive Internal Investigations

After potentially illegal or unethical wrongdoing is exposed within an organization, the most important step to take is to launch a comprehensive internal investigation. This can be a major challenge, and there are a number...more

10/10/2014 - Compliance Internal Investigations Investigations

Product Safety Groups Seek Transparency in Whistleblower Suit

A pair of organizations that advocate for safe consumer products have asked for the unsealing of court documents related to a major whistleblower case. ...more

10/7/2014 - Sealed Records Transparency Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

DynCorp Targeted with $150 Million Fraud Claim for Northrop Subcontract

Two employees have filed a lawsuit against DynCorp International Inc., a private military contractor that specializes in aviation facilities, training and equipment. According to the complaint, the employees allege that the...more

10/3/2014 - Army Defense Sector Employer Liability Issues False Claims Act Federal Contractors Fraud Northrup Grumman Subcontractors

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