Steven J. Pearlman

Steven J. Pearlman

Proskauer Rose LLP

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Self-Help Discovery Does Not Immunize Employee from Prosecution, Says NJ Supreme Court

On June 23, 2015, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that Quinlan v. Curtiss-Wright Corporation, 204 N.J. 239 (2010), does not bar criminal prosecutions arising from an employee’s removal of confidential company documents to...more

6/25/2015 - Confidential Documents Confidential Information Criminal Prosecution Discovery Discrimination Employee Rights Employment Discrimination Indictments NJ Supreme Court Theft

6th Circuit Reverses Itself, Abandons “Definitively and Specifically” Standard For SOX Whistleblower Protected Activity

On May 28, 2015, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an employee who reports allegedly fraudulent conduct engages in protected activity under SOX where he or she has a reasonable belief that the activity reported is...more

6/11/2015 - Appeals Causation Definitively and Specifically Standard Hiring & Firing Protected Activity Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley US Bancorp Whistleblowers

OSHA Updates Whistleblower Manual, Focusing On Damages And Settlement Agreements

On May 21, 2015, OSHA—which has responsibility for investigating and enforcement under 22 whistleblower retaliation statutes—released an updated edition of its Whistleblower Investigations Manual (the Manual), the first such...more

6/2/2015 - Damages Employer Liability Issues Government Investigations OSHA Whistleblower Protection Policies

California District Court Holds that Internal Tipsters Are Protected Under Dodd-Frank

On May 5, 2015, in Somers v. Digital Realty Trust Inc., No. C-14-5180, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California held that an internal complaint of an alleged securities law violation is sufficient to...more

5/31/2015 - Anti-Retaliation Provisions Complaint Procedures Dodd-Frank Federal Rule 12(b)(6) Internal Communications Popular Securities Whistleblowers

Cook County, Illinois Amends Human Rights Ordinance To Limit Credit Checks

Cook County, Illinois enacted a bill (No. 15-3088) that amends the Cook County Human Rights Ordinance to restrict employers from asking about or otherwise considering a prospective or current employee’s credit history in...more

5/31/2015 - Background Checks Credit History Exemptions Hiring & Firing Human Rights Local Ordinance Popular

WSJ Report On Delayed SEC Whistleblower Bounty Awards

A Wall Street Journal article (subscription required) dated May 4, 2015 reports that a backlog of tips received by the SEC Office of the Whistleblower as part of its bounty program has resulted in a delay in paying awards to...more

5/7/2015 - SEC Wall Street Journal Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

Senate Approves Auto Industry Whistleblower Bill

Under the “Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Act” (the Bill), which the U.S. Senate approved on April 28, 2015, whistleblower protections and bounties would be available to individuals who report motor vehicle defects. In...more

5/5/2015 - Auto Manufacturers Automotive Industry Manufacturing Defects Proposed Legislation Whistleblower Awards Whistleblower Protection Policies

OSHA’s Recent Guidance on Whistleblower Retaliation Investigations

The Directorate of Whistleblower Protection Programs recently issued a guidance memorandum titled “Clarification of the Investigative Standard for OSHA Whistleblower Investigations,” for the apparent purpose of clarifying the...more

5/4/2015 - Government Investigations OSHA Popular Whistleblower Protection Policies

ARB Issues Impactful Decision On Whistleblower Retaliation Causation Standard

The ARB recently addressed the standard for proving that protected activity was a “contributing factor” in adverse employment actions. It concluded that evidence showing that an employer would have made the same adverse...more

4/30/2015 - Administrative Review Board Adverse Employment Action OSHA Protected Activity Retaliation Whistleblower Protection Policies

Supreme Court Concludes That EEOC Conciliation Efforts Are Reviewable by Courts

On April 29, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously concluded that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) efforts to conciliate a matter before filing suit—a statutory requirement of Title VII—can be reviewed...more

4/30/2015 - Chevron Deference Conciliation Discrimination EEOC Judicial Review Mach Mining v EEOC SCOTUS Title VII

Closely Watched Weist SOX Whistleblower Case Dismissed

The Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently ruled that an employee’s SOX whistleblower retaliation claim failed as a matter of law because no causal connection existed between his complaints and termination and the employer...more

4/29/2015 - Adverse Employment Action Dismissals Hiring & Firing Retaliation 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

Washington Jury Awards “Perceived” Whistleblower $1 Million

In a jury verdict issued on March 26, 2015, a supervisor for the nation’s largest ferry system was awarded $1 million because the jury concluded that his employer demoted him as an act of retaliation in violation of the...more

4/15/2015 - Adverse Employment Action Employer Liability Issues Jury Verdicts Retaliation 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

OSHA Issues Long-Awaited SOX Whistleblower Rule

On March 5, 2015, OSHA issued a long-awaited Final Rule regarding SOX whistleblower procedures and related matters. The new Final Rule will replace the Interim Final Rule enacted in 2011, after Dodd-Frank amended SOX. The...more

3/18/2015 - Final Rules OSHA Sarbanes-Oxley

First SEC Whistleblower Award To Former Company Officer

On March 2, 2015, the SEC announced an expected award of $475,000 to $575,000 to a former company officer “who reported original, high-quality information about a securities fraud that resulted in an SEC enforcement action...more

3/5/2015 - Corporate Officers Enforcement Actions Former Employee SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

Another SEC Whistleblower Amicus Brief On Whether Dodd-Frank Covers Internal Complaints

On February 6, the SEC filed its third amicus brief defending its interpretive rule on Dodd-Frank’s anti-retaliation provision, 15 U.S.C. §78u-6(h)(1). The impetus is a ruling out of the Southern District of New York in...more

2/27/2015 - Anti-Retaliation Provisions Dodd-Frank Employer Liability Issues Internal Reporting SEC Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

4th Circuit: 4 Year Statute Of Limitations Applies To SOX Claims

The Fourth Circuit recently held that SOX whistleblower retaliation claims are subject to a four-year statute of limitations and that emotional distress damages are available in SOX actions. Jones v. SouthPeak Interactive...more

2/4/2015 - Emotional Distress Damages Employer Liability Issues Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley Statute of Limitations 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

SEC’s Second Amicus Brief On Whether Dodd-Frank Protects Internal Reports

On December 11, 2014, the SEC filed an amicus brief in support of Plaintiff-Appellant Mikael Safarian asking the Third Circuit to revive his Dodd-Frank whistleblower claim and endorse the agency’s definition of...more

12/23/2014 - Dodd-Frank Employer Liability Issues Reporting Requirements Retaliation SEC Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

3d Cir.: Dodd-Frank Anti-Arbitration Provisions Do Not Apply To Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Retaliation Claims

On December 8, 2014, the Third Circuit ruled that Dodd-Frank’s anti-arbitration provisions do not invalidate pre-dispute arbitration agreements with respect to whistleblower retaliation claims brought pursuant to the...more

12/15/2014 - Adverse Employment Action Arbitration Dodd-Frank Employer Liability Issues Retaliation TD Ameritrade Whistleblowers

Cal. App. Court Finds in Favor of “Whistleblower” Who Never Blew the Whistle

In Diego v. Pilgrim United Church of Christ, — Cal.Rptr.3d —-, 2014 WL 6602601 (Cal. App. 4 Dist.), the California Court of Appeal determined that Cecilia Diego (Plaintiff) could pursue a common law public policy retaliation...more

12/11/2014 - Adverse Employment Action Churches Corporate Counsel Employer Liability Issues Public Policy Retaliation Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers Wrongful Termination

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

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