Steven J. Pearlman

Steven J. Pearlman

Proskauer Rose LLP

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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

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

Comment Letter Requests SEC Require Public Companies To Furnish Gender Pay Ratio Data To Investors

In a February 1, 2016 comment letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), Pax Ellevate Management LLC Chair Sallie Krawcheck and Chief Executive Officer Joseph F. Keefe requested that the SEC take steps to...more

3/28/2016 - Data Collection Equal Pay Gender Discrimination Gender Equity Gender-Based Pay Discrimination Investors Pay Ratio SEC SEC Comment Letter Process Wage and Hour

SEC Awards Nearly $2M in Whistleblower Bounties

On March 8, 2016, the SEC announced payment of nearly $2,000,000 in whistleblower bounty awards to three tipsters. (The order granting the award can be accessed here.) The largest of the three awards, approximately...more

3/14/2016 - Enforcement Actions Government Investigations SEC Whistleblower Awards 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

SEC Pays Whistleblower Bounty Award Exceeding $325,000

On November 4, 2015, the SEC announced that it would pay a former investment firm employee a whistleblower bounty award totaling more than $325,000. Notably, the SEC’s Order indicated that the award was decreased “because...more

11/10/2015 - Delays Enforcement Actions Popular SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

California District Court Follows Asadi, Dismisses Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claim

On September 8, 2015, the United States District Court for the Central District of California dismissed a whistleblower retaliation claim, ruling that Dodd-Frank’s anti-retaliation provision only protects whistleblowers who...more

9/24/2015 - Anti-Retaliation Provisions Dodd-Frank Internal Reporting SEC Split of Authority Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers Wrongful Termination

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

SEC Pays More Than $3 Million Whistleblower Award

On July 17, 2015, the SEC announced a whistleblower award of more than $3 million to a “company insider” whose information assisted the SEC in unveiling a “complex fraud.” This payout (which is the SEC’s third largest)...more

7/24/2015 - Dodd-Frank SEC Securities Fraud Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Study: Does The Existence Of Whistleblowers In Enforcement Actions Mean Greater Penalties?

According to an academic study published on October 6, 2014 by Andrew C. Hall, Gerald S. Martin, Nathan Y. Sharp, and Jaron H. Wilde, the presence of whistleblowers may have a meaningful impact on the outcomes of enforcement...more

11/6/2014 - Civil Monetary Penalty DOJ Enforcement Enforcement Actions SEC Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

California Court Allows Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claims to Proceed Despite Absence of Complaint to SEC

In a case of first impression within the Ninth Circuit, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that the whistleblower protection provision in Dodd-Frank protects whistleblowers who report...more

11/5/2014 - Corporate Counsel Dodd-Frank SEC Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

Second Circuit To Decide Retroactivity of Dodd-Frank Bounty Provision

As discussed in a Law360 article by Ed Beeson, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals will decide in Stryker v. SEC, No. 13-cv-4404, whether the SEC needs to pay Dodd-Frank whistleblower bounties to tipsters who provided...more

10/1/2014 - Appeals Dodd-Frank Retroactivity SEC Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

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