Steven J. Pearlman

Steven J. Pearlman

Proskauer Rose LLP

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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

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

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

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

Illinois Appellate Court Affirms Whistleblower’s Multi-Million Dollar Award

On March 2, 2016, an Illinois Appellate court upheld a jury verdict awarding over $3 million to Plaintiff James Crowley (Plaintiff) on his whistleblower retaliation claim under the Illinois State Official and Employee Ethics...more

3/9/2016 - Back Pay Punitive Damages Reinstatement Retaliation Whistleblower Awards Whistleblowers

Two Illinois Federal Courts Rule That Illinois Whistleblower Act May Provide For Individual Liability

Two courts in the Northern District of Illinois recently ruled that the Illinois Whistleblower Act (IWA) (740 ILCS § 174/5) provides for individual liability.  Bello v. Village of Skokie, No. 14-cv-1718 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 2,...more

2/29/2016 - Individual Accountability Personal Liability Retaliation Supervisors Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USSERA) Whistleblowers

9th Circuit Dismisses ERA Whistleblower Retaliation Claim

On February 12, 2016, the Ninth Circuit rejected a former maintenance manger’s whistleblower retaliation claims under the Energy Reorganization Act, 42 U.S.C. § 5851 (“ERA”), concluding that he failed to engage in in a...more

2/19/2016 - Corporate Counsel Energy Reorganization Act Protected Activity Retaliation Termination Whistleblowers

“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

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

Kansas Court Dismisses Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claim for Failure to Complain of Securities Violations

On November 5, 2015, the District of Kansas dismissed a whistleblower retaliation claim under Dodd-Frank, ruling that the statute’s anti-retaliation provision only protects individuals who report securities violations.  Azim...more

11/16/2015 - Anti-Retaliation Provisions Dodd-Frank Popular Securities Violations Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers

ARB Rejects CFPA Whistleblower Claim On Protected Activity Grounds

On November 6, 2015, the DOL’s Administrative Review Board affirmed the dismissal of Consumer Financial Protection Act (“CFPA”) whistleblower claims of a terminated mortgage broker, concluding that the complainant did not...more

11/13/2015 - Administrative Review Board CFPA DOL Mortgage Brokers Protected Activity Termination Whistleblowers

N.D. Ill. Expands Definition of Protected Activity Under Ill. Whistleblower Act

On October 29, 2015, the Northern District of Illinois concluded that an employee who called police regarding suspected shoplifting—in violation of company policy—succeeded in proving a claim under the Illinois Whistleblower...more

11/10/2015 - Anti-Retaliation Provisions Protected Activity Termination Third-Party Whistleblowers

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