Steven J. Pearlman

Steven J. Pearlman

Proskauer Rose LLP

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“Reasonable Cause” Standard Highlighted In OSHA’s Revised Whistleblower Investigations Manual

On January 28, 2016, OSHA issued a revised Whistleblower Investigations Manual (“Manual”) outlining procedures for the handling of retaliation complaints under the various whistleblower statutes that OSHA oversees. Chapter 3...more

2/11/2016 - Burden of Proof FOIA Investigations OSHA Public Disclosure Retaliation Whistleblowers

3rd Circuit Affirms Dismissal in Long-Running Weist SOX Whistleblower Case

On February 2, 2016, the Third Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the SOX whistleblower retaliation claim in the closely watched case of Weist v. Tyco Electronics Corp., No. 15-2034. We have posted on key events during the...more

2/8/2016 - Causation Corporate Counsel Internal Investigations Protected Activity Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley Summary Judgment Termination Tyco Whistleblowers

Connecticut Court Clarifies SOX Whistleblower Pleading Standard

On December 15, 2015, the District of Connecticut refused to dismiss a SOX whistleblower retaliation claim, ruling that: (1) the heightened Rule 9(b) pleading standard for fraud claims does not apply to SOX whistleblower...more

1/4/2016 - Pleading Standards Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley Termination Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

N.D. Cal.: Internal Whistleblowers Are Protected and May Sue Individual Directors

On October 23, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California largely denied a motion to dismiss a whistleblower retaliation claim brought by a company’s former general counsel, ruling that: (I) the SOX...more

10/30/2015 - Anti-Retaliation Provisions Board of Directors CEOs Directors Dodd-Frank Internal Reporting Motion to Dismiss Personal Liability Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley Termination Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

Cal. App. Court Finds in Favor of Whistleblower Who Never Complained of Unlawful Conduct by the Employer

In Cardenas v. M. Fanaian, D.D.S., Inc., Case No. F069305 (Cal. App. 5 Dist.), a California Court of Appeal determined that Plaintiff Cardenas could pursue a California Labor Code Section 1102.5 retaliation claim against her...more

10/30/2015 - Damages Disclosure Employee Rights Employer Liability Issues Labor Code Law Enforcement Popular Protected Activity Public Policy Retaliation Termination Theft Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers Wrongful Termination

N.D. Illinois Grants Summary Judgment Against SOX Whistleblower

On August 26, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted summary judgment on a whistleblower retaliation claim under Section 806 of SOX, holding that Plaintiff Ivor Hill failed to establish a...more

9/16/2015 - Anti-Retaliation Provisions Compliance Commitees Hiring & Firing Internal Investigations Protected Activity Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley Termination Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

Second Circuit: Dodd-Frank Protects Internal Whistleblowers

On September 10, 2015, the Second Circuit issued its highly anticipated decision in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy, ruling (in a 2-1 decision) that Dodd-Frank’s whistleblower protection provision applies to internal complaints (i.e.,...more

9/11/2015 - Accounting Fraud Ambiguous Anti-Retaliation Provisions Chevron Deference Dodd-Frank DOL Internal Reporting Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley SEC Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers Wrongful Termination

E.D.N.Y Denies Motion For Summary Judgment In FCA Retaliation Case Based On Finding Of Pretext

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York recently found that two former employees of Eihab Human Services (Company) raised a genuine issue of material fact as to whether they were discharged in retaliation...more

8/13/2015 - Adverse Employment Action Anti-Retaliation Provisions Disclosure False Claims Act (FCA) Healthcare Fraud Medicaid Motion for Summary Judgment Pretext Protected Activity Retaliation State False Claims Acts Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers Wrongful Termination

Fifth Circuit Revives SOX Whistleblower Claim But Rejects Allegations Not Exhausted Before OSHA

In Wallace v. Tesoro Corp., the Fifth Circuit revived a SOX whistleblower complaint that was dismissed by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, finding that the plaintiff’s alleged belief that the company...more

8/12/2015 - Corporate Counsel Federal Rule 12(b)(6) GAAP Motion to Dismiss OSHA Reasonableness Factors Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley SEC Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers Wire Fraud

Frivolous Whistleblower Claim Yields Stiff Sanctions

The New Jersey Appellate Division recently upheld sanctions of more than $191,000 to Sunhillo Corporation (Company) in connection with its defense of claims under the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act, Fulton...more

8/10/2015 - Attorney's Fees Former Employer Frivolous Lawsuits Retaliation Summary Judgment Termination Whistleblowers

Cal. Court Limits Protected Activity Under Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Provision

In Nazif v. Computer Sciences Corporation, No. 13-cv-5498 (N.D. Cal. June 17, 2015), the Northern District of California granted Defendant Computer Sciences Corp. (Company) summary judgment on Plaintiff Nazif’s Dodd-Frank...more

7/8/2015 - Dodd-Frank Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley Securities Fraud Summary Judgment Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers Wrongful Termination

Second Circuit Entertains Argument on Scope of Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Provision

The Second Circuit recently entertained oral argument in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy, focusing on whether the Dodd-Frank whistleblower protection provision covers individuals who only complain internally about alleged securities law...more

7/7/2015 - Dodd-Frank Internal Reporting Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley SEC Whistleblowers

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 Hiring & Firing Protected Activity Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley US Bancorp Whistleblowers

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

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

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

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

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

ARB Affirms Blacklisting Award To Whistleblower

The ARB upheld a damages award in favor of a whistleblower after his former employer purportedly “blacklisted” him by providing an apparently negative employment reference to a prospective employer. Timmons v. CRST Dedicated...more

10/16/2014 - Blacklist Commercial Truck Drivers Corporate Counsel Employer Liability Issues Former Employee Reference Checks Retaliation Trucking Industry Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers Workplace Hazards

Court Affirms $3M Jury Award In Illinois Whistleblower Action

On August 28, 2014, Judge James McCarthy issued a decision in Crawley v. Chicago State University, Case No. 10 L 12657 (Cook County, Ill., Law Div.), affirming payment of over $3 million to Plaintiff James Crowley...more

10/10/2014 - Colleges Jury Awards Retaliation Universities Whistleblowers

Another Hefty OSHA Whistleblower Award + Reinstatement

On September 26, 2014, OSHA issued a preliminary order that an Illinois employer, Stericycle Inc. (the Company), reinstate and pay $262,000 to a supervisor who was discharged after allegedly reporting safety concerns to...more

10/3/2014 - Adverse Employment Action Consent Order Employer Liability Issues OSHA Reinstatement Retaliation Surface Transportation Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers Workplace Hazards

Second Circuit Strays From “Definitively and Specifically” Standard But Still Dismisses SOX Claim

On August 8, 2014, the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a SOX whistleblower retaliation claim brought by a former AECOM Technology Corp. (“Company”) employee, holding that he did not engage in protected activity...more

8/14/2014 - Corporate Counsel Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblowers

Eleventh Circuit Sustains Award To Employer In Whistleblower Case

In a warning to plaintiffs’ counsel who seek emotional distress damages for alleged whistleblower retaliation under Florida law, the Eleventh Circuit in Smith v. Psychiatric Solutions, Inc., 750 F.3d 1253 (11th Cir. May 6,...more

7/11/2014 - Attorney's Fees Emotional Distress Damages Employer Liability Issues Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblowers

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