Steven J. Pearlman

Steven J. Pearlman

Proskauer Rose LLP

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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

SOX Claim Dismissed: Rejection of IP Assignment Clause Not Protected Activity

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois recently granted a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss a SOX whistleblower retaliation claim, concluding that the plaintiff did not engage in protected activity. Fuqua...more

8/8/2014 - Fraud Protected Activity Sarbanes-Oxley Shareholders Whistleblower Protection Policies 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

E.D. Pennsylvania Limits Supreme Court’s SOX Whistleblower Decision

In a case of first impression, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled that the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding in Lawson v. FMR LLC, 134 S. Ct. 1158 (2014)—that the whistleblower protection...more

6/25/2014 - FMR LLC Fraud Lawson v FMR Sarbanes-Oxley SCOTUS Whistleblowers

OSHA Orders Company to Pay SOX Whistleblower Back Wages

According to its recent press release, OSHA issued a preliminary order requiring SpongeTech Delivery Systems, Inc. of New York (Company), a cleaning product company, to pay a complainant $31,835.33 in back wages based on its...more

6/19/2014 - Back Pay OSHA Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

S.D.N.Y. Takes Broad Approach To SOX and Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claims

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York recently denied a motion to dismiss a plaintiff’s SOX and Dodd-Frank whistleblower claims, ruling that (i) the plaintiff engaged in SOX protected activity even...more

5/28/2014 - Dodd-Frank Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

4th Circuit: SOX Whistleblower Failed To Establish A Prima Facie Case Regarding Causation

On May 12, 2014, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment on a SOX whistleblower claim, concluding that the whistleblowers’ alleged protected activity was not a “contributing factor” in the challenged...more

5/16/2014 - Adverse Employment Action Causation Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

OSHA Releases Interim Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Regulations

OSHA recently released the interim final text of regulations implementing the whistleblower protection provision (Section 1057) in Dodd-Frank. The interim final regulations establish the timing and processes for handling...more

4/14/2014 - Administrative Review Board ALJ Dodd-Frank DOL OSHA Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Protection Policies

OSHA Issues Substantial Award To SOX Whistleblower Claiming “Blacklisting”

According to a news release from OSHA, OSHA recently ordered DISH Network (the “Company”) to pay a former employee over $257,000 in back wages and compensatory damages, plus reasonable attorneys’ fees, and to expunge his...more

4/2/2014 - Blacklist OSHA Sarbanes-Oxley

SEC’s Amicus Brief: Internal Whistleblower Reports Covered By Dodd-Frank Anti-Retaliation Provision

As we previously discussed, courts have struggled with determining the scope of the protections in Dodd-Frank’s anti-retaliation provisions. On the one hand, Dodd-Frank defines a “whistleblower” as any individual, or group of...more

3/21/2014 - Anti-Retaliation Provisions Dodd-Frank Retaliation Sarbanes-Oxley SEC Whistleblowers

$6 Million SOX Whistleblower Verdict In California

On March 5, 2014, a California jury awarded $6 million to a former accounting executive at Playboy Enterprises Inc. (the “Company”), finding that the Company discharged the former employee in violation of Section 806 of SOX....more

3/11/2014 - Corporate Counsel Enforcement Actions Jury Verdicts Sarbanes-Oxley SEC

U.S. Supreme Court Extends SOX's Whistleblower Protection To Employees of Publicly Traded Company's Contractors

On March 4, 2014, the United States Supreme Court decided Lawson v. FMR LLC, holding that SOX's whistleblower protection extends to employees of a publicly traded company's contractors and subcontractors. Lawson v. FMR LLC,...more

3/7/2014 - Contractors Fidelity Investments FMR LLC Lawson v FMR Sarbanes-Oxley SCOTUS Subcontractors Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

U.S. Supreme Court Extends SOX’s Whistleblower Protection To Employees of Publicly Traded Company’s Contractors

On March 4, 2014, the United States Supreme Court in Lawson v. FMR LLC held that SOX’s whistleblower protection extends to employees of a publicly traded company’s contractors and subcontractors. Lawson v. FMR LLC, 572 U.S....more

3/5/2014 - Contractors Employee Definition Fidelity Investments FMR LLC Lawson v FMR Sarbanes-Oxley SCOTUS Securities Exchange Act Subcontractors Whistleblowers

Federal District Court Deepens Divide Over SOX Whistleblower “Protected Activity”

On February 21, 2014, the District of Puerto Rico strayed from a prominent decision out of the First Circuit that employed the “definitively and specifically” standard governing protected activity under Section 806 of SOX,...more

3/4/2014 - Protected Concerted Activity Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblowers

District Court Denies Summary Judgment On Internal Audit/SOX Administrator’s Whistleblower Claim

In denying a bank’s bid for summary judgment on an Internal Audit and SOX Administrator’s SOX whistleblower claim, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington highlighted the present conflict on the...more

1/20/2014 - Adverse Employment Action Audits Banking Sector Fraud Internal Audit Functions Protected Activity Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblowers

ARB: No SOX Whistleblower Liability Where Termination Of In-House Counsel Was Based On Insubordination

The ARB recently affirmed an ALJ’s decision that American Commercial Lines Inc. (the “Company”) did not violate the whistleblower protection provision in Section 806 of SOX where the Company demonstrated by clear and...more

1/16/2014 - Corporate Counsel Insubordination Policy Sarbanes-Oxley Termination Whistleblowers

S.D.N.Y. Dismisses SOX Whistleblower Case, Applying Strict Protected Activity Standard And Finding No Causation

On December 12, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York granted an employer summary judgment on a long-running SOX whistleblower claim. Sharkey v. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., No. 10-cv-3824 (S.D.N.Y....more

12/17/2013 - Hiring & Firing JPMorgan Chase Protected Activity Sarbanes-Oxley Termination Whistleblowers

Virginia District Court Opens Door To Front Pay For SOX Whistleblowers

In a SOX whistleblower case of first impression, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled that front pay may be ordered in lieu of reinstatement. However, the court ultimately determined that front...more

12/3/2013 - Front Pay Reinstatement Sarbanes-Oxley SEC Whistleblowers

OSHA Awards $1.9 Million To SOX Whistleblower

On September 30, 2013, OSHA awarded more than $1.9 million to a former CFO of Clean Diesel Technologies, Inc. (the Company) (based in Ventura, California) who is not identified in OSHA’s press release. This award is based on...more

10/9/2013 - OSHA Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

Texas Federal Court Gives SOX Whistleblower Another Big Bite At The Apple

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas recently ruled that a plaintiff had the right to a de novo review of her SOX whistleblower claims in federal district court even though she had already participated...more

10/7/2013 - DOL Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblowers

C.D. Cal. Greenlights SOX Claim, Analyzing Whether Scienter Must Be Shown Where Violation Of Internal Controls Is Alleged

On April 24, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California issued its final ruling that a SOX whistleblower complaint survived a Rule 12(b)(6) challenge. Zulfer v. Playboy Enterprises, Inc., No....more

5/7/2013 - Anti-Retaliation Provisions Internal Controls Sarbanes-Oxley Scienter Whistleblowers

ARB Says Equitable Modification of SOX Statute of Limitations Saves Untimely Complaint

On March 29, 2013, the Department of Labor’s Administrative Review Board (“ARB”) ruled that a “standstill” agreement between an employer and employee that required both parties to provide notice before initiating legal...more

4/12/2013 - Administrative Review Board DOL Equitable Modification Sarbanes-Oxley Standstill Agreements Statute of Limitations

Tyco Seeks En Banc Review of Controversial Third Circuit Wiest v. Lynch Decision

Tyco Electronics Corporation filed a Petition for Rehearing En Banc with the Third Circuit on April 2, 2013 asking the court to reconsider its March 19 decision in Wiest v. Lynch, No. 11-cv-4257, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 5345 (3d...more

4/4/2013 - Sarbanes-Oxley Tyco Whistleblowers Wiest v Lynch

Third Circuit Lowers Bar For Determining Whether Internal Complaint Is SOX Protected Activity

In Wiest v. Lynch, No. 11-cv-4257, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 5345 (3d Cir. March 19, 2013), the Third Circuit gave Chevron deference to U.S. Department of Labor Administrative Review Board’s (ARB) interpretation of “protected...more

3/26/2013 - DOL Protected Activity Sarbanes-Oxley SEC Split of Authority Whistleblowers

Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of SOX Whistleblower Claim On Causation Grounds

In a brief but notable decision, the Ninth Circuit affirmed summary judgment in an employer’s favor on causation grounds in a SOX whistleblower retaliation case. Kim v. The Boeing Co., 487 Fed. Appx. 356 (9th Cir. 2012)....more

3/6/2013 - Adverse Employment Action Boeing Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblowers

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