Steven J. Pearlman

Steven J. Pearlman

Proskauer Rose LLP

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Chicago Sees A Major Uptick in FLSA Litigation, Consistent With National Trends

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has emerged as one of the nation’s busiest federal district courts with respect to wage-and-hour litigation. As reported by Crain’s Chicago Business, in 2015...more

11/15/2016 - DOL FLSA Wage and Hour

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

Cook County Suburbs Subject to Same Paid Sick Leave Obligations as Chicago

Effective July 1, 2017, Cook County Ordinance 16-4229 (“Ordinance”) will allow employees who work in Cook County to accrue and use earned paid sick leave....more

10/14/2016 - Earned Sick Time FMLA Local Ordinance Paid Leave Paid Sick Leave Act Sick Leave Wage and Hour

Proskauer Joins Heads of SEC & OSHA Whistleblower Programs in Webinar

On September 27, 2016, Proskauer Partner Steven J. Pearlman, co-head of the Whistleblowing & Retaliation Practice Group, participated in a Bloomberg webinar with Jane Norberg, Acting Chief of the SEC Office of the...more

9/30/2016 - Best Practices Confidential Information Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) Dodd-Frank FOIA Internal Investigations OSHA Sarbanes-Oxley SEC Webinars Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

Whistleblower’s Attorney’s Communications with Regulators Found to be Protected by Work Product Doctrine

A California Magistrate Judge in BofI Federal Bank v. Erhart ruled that a whistleblower’s attorney’s communications sent to federal regulators were protected by the attorney work product doctrine. No. 15-cv-2353 (S.D. Cal....more

9/29/2016 - Abandonment Attorney-Client Privilege Common-Interest Privilege FMLA Hiring & Firing OCC Sarbanes-Oxley SEC Termination Unpaid Leave Whistleblowers Work-Product Doctrine

SDNY Refuses to Dismiss Executive’s Dodd-Frank Retaliation Claim

On August 24, 2016, the Southern District of New York denied Defendants’ motion to dismiss a Dodd-Frank whistleblower retaliation claim brought by its former co-CEO and Executive Chairman of its Board of Directors, finding...more

9/26/2016 - Corporate Counsel Disclosure Requirements Dodd-Frank Federal Rule 12(b)(6) Form 10-K Hiring & Firing Misrepresentation Motion to Dismiss Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley Securities Securities Fraud Securities Violations Termination Whistleblowers

E.D. Wisconsin: SOX Does Not Protect Whistleblower Complaints Based On Immaterial, Routine Events

On August 25, 2016, the Eastern District of Wisconsin granted the Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment on its former CEO’s SOX whistleblower claim. The court ruled that Plaintiff’s complaint to the Board of Directors did...more

9/23/2016 - Corporate Counsel Dodd-Frank Protected Activity Sarbanes-Oxley Securities Fraud Securities Violations Summary Judgment Whistleblowers

Illinois Enacts Child Bereavement Leave Act

On July 29, 2016, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law the Illinois Child Bereavement Leave Act (the “Act”). The Act, which became effective upon signing, provides certain Illinois employees up to ten workdays of...more

9/1/2016 - Bereavement Leave Governor Rauner Notice Requirements

Illinois Prohibits Non-Compete Agreements with Low-Wage Employees

Effective January 1, 2017, the Illinois Freedom to Work Act (the “Act”) will prohibit private sector employers from entering into non-competition agreements with employees earning a “low wage.” The Act defines low-wage...more

8/30/2016 - Freedom To Work Act Low-Wage Workers Minimum Wage Non-Compete Agreements Restrictive Covenants Unconscionable Contracts Wage and Hour

Illinois Passes Family Caregivers Leave Law

Effective January 1, 2017, the Illinois Employee Sick Leave Act (the “Act”) will allow employees to use employer-provided personal sick leave benefits to care for an ill or injured family member or attend a medical...more

8/29/2016 - Caregivers Paid Leave Sick Leave

Illinois Domestic Workers Now Guaranteed Certain Employment Rights

On August 12, 2016, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights Act (House Bill 1288) (the “Act”) on behalf of domestic workers employed in private homes or residences into law. With the passage...more

8/24/2016 - Anti-Retaliation Provisions Domestic Workers Employment Discrimination Human Rights Minimum Wage New Legislation Rest and Meal Break Wage and Hour

OSHA Launches “Expedited Case Processing Pilot” For Whistleblower Claims

On August 1, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) launched a new pilot program, titled “Expedited Case Processing Pilot,” in its Western region. The program enables a complainant filing claims under whistleblower...more

8/22/2016 - ALJ DOL Federal Pilot Programs Investigations OSHA Whistleblowers

SEC Penalizes Company For Severance Language Purportedly Impeding Complaints

On August 10, 2016, the SEC announced that BlueLinx Holdings Inc. (Company) is settling charges that it violated Rule 21F-17 by requiring outgoing employees to waive whistleblower bounty awards in connection with severance...more

8/12/2016 - Confidentiality Agreements Dodd-Frank Enforcement Actions Government Agencies Penalties Rule 21F SEC Securities Exchange Act Severance Agreements Termination Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

S.D.N.Y. Dismisses SOX and Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claims For Lack Of Protected Activity

On June 22, 2016, Judge Daniels of the Southern District of New York dismissed SOX and Dodd-Frank whistleblower claims, ruling that Plaintiff’s alleged internal complaints did not constitute protected activity, as they did...more

6/29/2016 - Conflicts of Interest Corporate Counsel Dismissals Dodd-Frank Employee Transfers Federal Rule 12(b)(6) Internal Reporting Protected Activity Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley Securities Violations Whistleblowers

Eighth Circuit Deals Significant Blow To SOX And Dodd-Frank Whistleblowers

On June 6, 2016, the Eighth Circuit affirmed the Minnesota District Court’s grant of summary judgment on SOX and Dodd-Frank whistleblower retaliation claims based on the plaintiff’s failure to establish a reasonable belief...more

6/14/2016 - Corporate Counsel Dodd-Frank Objective Unreasonableness Standard Oracle Popular Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley Securities Fraud Summary Judgment Termination Whistleblowers

Fourth Circuit Upholds Four-Year Front-Pay Award To Whistleblower

On May 20, 2016, the Fourth Circuit affirmed the decision of the ARB, finding that a former employee of Deltek, Inc. (Company) was retaliated against in violation of Section 806 of SOX and entitled to four years’ worth of...more

5/24/2016 - Administrative Review Board ALJ Corporate Counsel DOL Front Pay Protected Activity Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley Termination Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

SOX Whistleblower Receives $250,000 Award Related to State Wage Act Complaints

The ARB recently concluded that a former program manager was entitled to recover more than $250,000 in back pay and benefits under Section 806 of SOX based on his discipline and constructive discharge. The ARB clarified that...more

4/15/2016 - Administrative Review Board ALJ Back Pay Constructive Discharge Discipline Fraud Material Misrepresentation Protected Activity Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley Wage Deductions Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

CFTC Issues Record-High Whistleblower Bounty Award

On April 4, 2016, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued its third and largest award, of more than $10 million, as part of its Dodd-Frank whistleblower program. As was the case with the CFTC’s two...more

4/12/2016 - CFTC Dodd-Frank Enforcement Actions Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

Chicago Task Force Proposes 5 Days Of Paid Sick Leave For Employees

Poised to join the increasing number of cities that require paid sick leave, the Working Families Task Force (commissioned by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel) recently recommended that employees in Chicago be allowed to earn at...more

4/6/2016 - City Councils City of Chicago Paid Leave Proposed Legislation PTO Referendums Sick Leave Wage and Hour

E.D. Kentucky Dismisses SOX and Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Counter-Claims

On March 17, 2016, the Eastern District of Kentucky dismissed whistleblower counter-claims against Allstate Insurance Company (“Company”), ruling that Defendant Kevin Keefe’s (“Plaintiff”) SOX claim was untimely and that his...more

3/31/2016 - Adverse Employment Action Allstate Anti-Retaliation Provisions Counterclaims Dismissals Dodd-Frank Sarbanes-Oxley Statute of Limitations Whistleblowers

Comment Letter Requests SEC Require Public Companies To Furnish Gender Pay Ratio Data To Investors

In a February 1, 2016 comment letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), Pax Ellevate Management LLC Chair Sallie Krawcheck and Chief Executive Officer Joseph F. Keefe requested that the SEC take steps to...more

3/28/2016 - Data Collection Equal Pay Gender Discrimination Gender Equity Gender-Based Pay Discrimination Investors Pay Ratio SEC SEC Comment Letter Process Wage and Hour

OSHA Releases Final Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Regulations

OSHA recently released its final rule implementing the whistleblower provisions of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 (“CFPA”).  The following are the key features of the rule...more

3/23/2016 - Administrative Review Board Adverse Employment Action ALJ Complaint Procedures Corporate Counsel Dodd-Frank DOL OSHA Protected Activity Retaliation Whistleblower Protection Policies

ARB Rejects SOX Claim of Employee Who Threatened Co-Worker

On February 18, 2016, the ARB dismissed a former employee’s whistleblower retaliation claim under Section 806 of SOX, concluding that he failed to show that his protected activity contributed to the decision to terminate his...more

3/15/2016 - Administrative Review Board Causation Corporate Counsel Hiring & Firing Protected Activity Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley Termination Whistleblowers

SEC Awards Nearly $2M in Whistleblower Bounties

On March 8, 2016, the SEC announced payment of nearly $2,000,000 in whistleblower bounty awards to three tipsters. (The order granting the award can be accessed here.) The largest of the three awards, approximately...more

3/14/2016 - Enforcement Actions Government Investigations SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

Illinois Appellate Court Affirms Whistleblower’s Multi-Million Dollar Award

On March 2, 2016, an Illinois Appellate court upheld a jury verdict awarding over $3 million to Plaintiff James Crowley (Plaintiff) on his whistleblower retaliation claim under the Illinois State Official and Employee Ethics...more

3/9/2016 - Back Pay Punitive Damages Reinstatement Retaliation Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

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