Steven J. Pearlman

Steven J. Pearlman

Proskauer Rose LLP

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Maryland District Court Dismisses SOX and Dodd Frank Whistleblower Claims

On March 1, 2017, the District of Maryland dismissed a Dodd Frank whistleblower retaliation claim because the plaintiff failed to allege that he had complained directly to the SEC about a violation of securities laws, and...more

3/9/2017 - Corporate Counsel Dismissals Dodd-Frank Publicly-Traded Companies Reporting Requirements Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley SEC Securities Violations Whistleblowers

SEC Reduces Whistleblower Bounty Based On Culpability And Delayed Reporting

On February 28, 2017, in an Order almost entirely devoid of detail, the SEC announced that a whistleblower will receive 20% of any monetary sanctions collected in an enforcement action commenced as a result of the...more

3/8/2017 - Co-Conspirators Legislative Agendas Personal Liability SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

Florida Private Sector Whistleblower Must Show Actual Violation of Law

The Southern District of Florida recently held that to establish a prima facie case under the Florida Private Whistleblower Act (FWA), § 448.102(3), Fla. Stat., a plaintiff must show an actual violation of a law, rule or...more

3/6/2017 - Criminal Investigations Florida Fraud Pharmacist Prescription Drugs Protected Activity Summary Judgment Wal-Mart Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

S.D.N.Y. Dismisses Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Retaliation Claim

In one of the first cases to address the standard governing a motion for summary judgment in a Dodd-Frank whistleblower retaliation case, Judge Jed S. Rakoff ruled that two former executives of Vista Outdoor Inc. (the...more

2/23/2017 - Dodd-Frank Employer Liability Issues Hiring & Firing Internal Controls Internal Reporting Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley Summary Judgment Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

OSHA’s Advisory Guidance on Anti-Retaliation Programs

On January 13, 2017, OSHA published the Recommended Practices for Anti-Retaliation Programs. OSHA’s guidance provides examples and suggestions of steps companies can take to implement an effective anti-retaliation program. ...more

1/20/2017 - Anti-Retaliation Provisions Employee Training OSHA Policies and Procedures Retaliation Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers Workplace Injury Workplace Safety

District of Massachusetts Clarifies Immunity Defense Burden Under Defend Trade Secrets Act

As noted in our previous post, in May 2016, President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), which establishes a federal cause of action for misappropriation of trade secrets into law. As part of its protections,...more

12/28/2016 - Confidential Information Corporate Counsel Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) Evidence Misappropriation Motion to Dismiss Preliminary Injunctions Trade Secrets Whistleblowers

Former CFO Awarded $1.9 Million In SOX Case

An ALJ at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently ruled that a former CFO was entitled to approximately $1.9 million in back pay, front pay, and compensatory damages, concluding that he was retaliated against in violation...more

12/9/2016 - ALJ Back Pay Compensatory Damages Corporate Counsel DOL EBITDA Fraud Front Pay Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblowers

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

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