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SEC Seeks To “Overrule” Fifth Circuit Whistleblower Interpretation

In Asadi v. G.E. Energy United States, L.L.C., 720 F.3d 620 (5th Cir. 2013), the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that an employee who reported a suspected Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violation internally but not to the...more

Safeguarding a Whistleblower’s Identity

Everyone knows that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act prohibits retaliation against whistleblowers. It may be less obvious, however, that merely disclosing a whistleblower’s identity can constitute prohibited retaliation. Nevertheless,...more

5th Circuit: Outing Whistleblower Equals Adverse Action

On November 12, 2014, in Halliburton, Inc. v. Admin. Review Bd., 5th Cir. No. 13-cv-60323, the Fifth Circuit affirmed an ARB’s decision that disclosing the identity of a whistleblower may constitute an “adverse action” under...more

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Document Preservation Notices Can Lead to SOX Violation!

On November 12, 2014, the Fifth Circuit affirmed a Department of Labor finding that Halliburton retaliated against a whistleblower by including his name in a document preservation notice. The court also held that emotional...more

Revealing Whistleblower’s Identity is Retaliation

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that revealing a whistleblower’s identity is prohibited retaliation under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in Halliburton, Inc. v. Administrative Review Board, United States...more

Lights Out for a 401(k) Investment Fund? Don't Forget the Blackout Notice Rules.

One of your company’s 401(k) investment fund options is underperforming. Or, perhaps the fund is no longer appropriate for your employees. Or, perhaps a fund’s wildly successful fund manager has jumped ship to another fund...more

Does SEC Gain an Advantage Bringing Insider Trading Cases in Home Court?

Following the loss of two high-profile insider trading cases, the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) is hoping to improve its chances in future actions by taking advantage of expanded administrative powers under the...more

Did the Summer Shine any Light on Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Land?

The summer saw a significant new development in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) whistleblower bounty program but failed to see any development on obtaining clarification as to the reach of the Dodd-Frank...more

SEC Brings Another Bond Case Against A State

The SEC’s nationwide review of municipal bond disclosures yielded another enforcement action, this time against the state of Kanas. The Order centers on claims that the state failed to disclose its huge unfunded pension...more

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

SOX Un-Boxed

Prepare for DOL whistleblower litigation. The Supreme Court has ruled on the scope of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act whistleblower provision. According to SCOTUS, SOX allows any employee to bring a whistleblower complaint, so long...more

On a “Clear and Convincing Day”: The Administrative Review Board Gives Employers Some Helpful Guidance

As we have discussed in earlier posts, the Administrative Review Board (ARB) has, over the last couple of years, issued a number of opinions signaling a decidedly employee-friendly interpretation of the whistleblower statutes...more

SEC Adopts Final Rules for Municipal Advisors

The SEC issued final rules requiring the registration of municipal advisors in SEC Release No. 34-70462 (the “Release”). The rules implement Section 975 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which amended Section 15B of the Securities...more

CII Submits Rule 10b5-1 Rulemaking Petition to the SEC

On November 28 the Council of Institutional Investors (CII), an association of public, corporate and union pension funds and other employee benefit plans, submitted a letter to Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman...more

Hidden Due Diligence Risk In Mergers, Acquisitions And Investments: Independent Contractor Misclassification Oftentimes Overlooked...

Many due diligence reviews in mergers, acquisitions and investments have ignored the issue of independent contractor (IC) misclassification liability. This is a difficult exposure to identify unless the legal team digs below...more

Annual Notices for ISOs and ESPPs due January 31, 2013

Each January, companies that grant incentive stock options (ISOs) are required to provide notices to current and former employees who exercised ISOs during the preceding calendar year. Similar notices must be given to current...more

Department of Labor Proposed Amendment to Underwriter Exemption

On December 28, 2012, the Department of Labor published a proposed amendment to the definition of the term “Rating Agency” under Section III.X of the individual Prohibited Transaction Exemptions (otherwise known as the...more

Executive Compensation and Corporate and Securities Alert: UPDATED-NYSE and Nasdaq Propose Rules Relating to Compensation...

This summary has been updated to reflect the amendment to the Nasdaq Proposed Rules now referenced in the third paragraph of the Overview below. Overview - On June 20, 2012, the Securities and Exchange Commission...more

The SEC’s Annual Report on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program: Statistics Suggest Best Practices for an Effective Compliance and...

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Annual Report on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program, released November 2012, provides the first complete year of data on the activities of the Office of the Whistleblower (“OWB”)...more

The SEC Wants To Know About Your Whistleblower Policy

SEC Regional Office Director David Bergers recently emphasized the importance of a company’s whistleblower policy when deciding whether to file an enforcement action against a company. Bergers made his comments at an internal...more

Government Finance Officers Association Issues Guidelines For Pension Funding

As market regulators press for stricter reporting guidelines for state and local governments concerning pension disclosure in public offerings, the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) is advocating that funding...more

SEC Whistleblower Chief: Companies and Their Lawyers Should Not Impede Whistleblowing

In a recent interview with The American Lawyer, Sean McKessey, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower since February 2011, cautioned employers about dissuading potential whistleblowers from complaining to the SEC....more

Dodd-Frank Protocol Carries Burdens and Benefits for Pension Plans

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has issued new “know your customer” and external business conduct rules to give effect to certain provisions of Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection...more

"Executive Compensation and Benefits Alert: ISS Releases FAQs Regarding Peer Group Selection — Deadline Fast Approaching for...

New ISS Peer Group Methodology - One of the most controversial issues during the 2012 proxy season was the degree to which the peer groups chosen by Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) varied from the peer groups...more

Sixth Circuit Allows Key Defenses To SOX Whistleblower Claims That ARB Rejected

In a SOX whistleblower decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit embraced a number of employer-favorable legal standards that the Administrative Review Board (ARB) recently rejected....more

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