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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Whistleblower Augmented Reward and Non-Retaliation Act of 2016

Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) recently introduced the Whistleblower Augmented Reward and Non-Retaliation Act of 2016 (“WARN Act”), which aims to bolster whistleblower protections under both...more

3/4/2016 - Confidentiality Agreements Dodd-Frank Proposed Legislation Sarbanes-Oxley SEC WARN Act Whistleblower Awards Whistleblower Protection Policies

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

ARB Broadly Interprets Adverse Action Once Again

On November 24, 2015, the ARB adopted an expansive interpretation of what constitutes an adverse action for claims asserted under the Federal Railroad Safety Act of 1982 (FRSA), holding that a reduced performance rating with...more

12/23/2015 - Administrative Review Board Adverse Employment Action Federal Railroad Safety Act OSHA Performance Reviews Sarbanes-Oxley Workplace Injury

OSHA Releases FY 2015 Stats Showing An Increase In Whistleblower Claims

According to figures recently released by OSHA, there has been a general increase in the number of whistleblower cases filed in fiscal year 2015 (FY 2015), in comparison to the number of cases filed in FY 2014.  Here are some...more

11/30/2015 - CFPA Dodd-Frank OSHA Popular Sarbanes-Oxley 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

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

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

SEC Issues Interpretive Rule Regarding Definition of Dodd-Frank “Whistleblower”

In response to the disagreement amongst courts regarding the scope of Dodd-Frank’s employment retaliation protections, on August 4, 2015, the SEC issued an “interpretive rule” clarifying that individuals who have not reported...more

8/6/2015 - Anti-Retaliation Provisions Dodd-Frank Internal Reporting Interpretive Rule Investor Protection Sarbanes-Oxley SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblower Protection Policies 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

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