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CalPERS Board Member Contests Attorney General’s Conflicts Position

Last December, I wrote about J.J. Jelincic, a long-term CalPERS employee who was elected for a four-year term to the Board of Administration of the California Public Employees Retirement System (aka CalPERS). Following Mr....more

SEC Targets Confidentiality Agreements That Stifle Whistle-Blowing

On April 1, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced its first enforcement action and settlement against a company for violations of the whistleblower protection provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act...more

SEC Says Employer's Confidentiality Agreement Violates Dodd-Frank

Employers paying severance to separated employees usually require written release agreements that include a confidentiality provision. The employee is prohibited from disclosing the existence of the agreement, or from...more

Three Thoughts about the SEC’s First “Pretaliation” Case

I was on a flight last Wednesday when the SEC released the first of what whistleblower chief Sean McKessy has dubbed “pretaliation” cases against KBR, Inc. When I landed I had several emails from colleagues, asking, “Did you...more

Employer’s confidentiality agreement triggers SEC action and penalty - review and revise agreements now

Consistent with its prior announcements that it will protect and encourage whistleblowers, the SEC recently announced its “first enforcement action” against a company for using allegedly restrictive language in an agreement...more

Carefully Draft NDAs to Avoid Whistleblower Concerns

In light of the SEC’s first enforcement action against a company for impeding whistleblower activity in violation of Rule 21F-17, employers may wish to consider clarifying in their agreements, policies and practices that...more

Do Your Confidentiality and Employment Agreements Violate SEC Whistleblower Protection Rules?

As the SEC takes aim at whistleblower “pretaliation” (attempts to muzzle whistleblowers via confidentiality and other employment agreements—overt or otherwise) ethics and compliance officers need to take practical steps to...more

SEC Cracks Down On Employment Agreements That Stifle Corporate Whistleblowers

On April 1, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) gave a boost to corporate whistleblowers, reaching its first settlement with a company accused of stifling whistleblowing activity through the use of...more

"SEC Enforces Whistleblower Protection Rule Against Restrictive Confidentiality Agreement"

On April 1, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its first enforcement action against a company for a restrictive provision in confidentiality agreements that could deter employees from using the...more

SEC Charges KBR, Inc. with Using a Confidentiality Agreement that Could "Chill" Whistleblowing

About six months ago, the Director of the Office of the Whistleblower warned that the SEC was “going to bring a case where somebody has asked an employee or forced an employee to sign a document that in order of substance...more

The SEC’s New Whistleblower Action: Is It Counterproductive?

The SEC brought its first enforcement action centered on corporate restrictions which could impact employee whistleblowers, deterring them from reporting to the agency. ...more

The SEC Enforces Whistleblower Protection from Confidentiality Agreements

Earlier this week, the SEC announced in a first-of-its-kind enforcement action that certain KBR, Inc. confidentiality agreements violated the whistleblower protections of the Dodd-Frank Act....more

SEC Cracks Down on Confidentiality Provisions that Restrict Whistleblowers

On April 1, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced an enforcement action and corresponding settlement arising out of an employer’s confidentiality agreement. The SEC contended that the agreement...more

Don't Silence the Whistle: SEC Enforcement Action Attacks Employer's Confidentiality Agreement as Whistleblower Interference

On April 1, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its first enforcement action based upon improperly restrictive language in a Houston-based technology and engineering firm’s employee confidentiality...more

Recent SEC Enforcement Action Against KBR Warns Against Restrictive Confidentiality Agreements

The SEC Enforcement Action - A recent enforcement action by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission aims to protect employees from signing confidentiality agreements that would prevent them from acting as...more

SEC Fines KBR $130,000 for Using Employee Confidentiality Agreement that Violates Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Protections

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has brought its first-ever enforcement action against a company for using language in confidentiality agreements that prohibits employees from speaking with the SEC without prior...more

SEC Uses Its Powers under the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Provisions to Warn Employers Against Attempting to Restrict Employees’...

On April 1, 2015, the SEC announced a settled enforcement proceeding against KBR, Inc., a publicly traded, Houston-based technology and engineering company, for including “restrictive language” in confidentiality agreements...more

Recent SEC Enforcement Actions Renew Focus on Incentive Compensation Clawbacks

Recent SEC enforcement actions serve as a reminder that CEOs and CFOs are subject to incentive compensation clawbacks under Section 304 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act even when there has been no misconduct on their part....more

The SEC Will Be Your Employment Law Agency, Too

The nature of the SEC’s business a regulator of public companies lends a certain expansive aspect to its jurisdiction. That is, when your job as a government agency is to be sure public companies are making complete and...more

ISS Equity Plan Scorecard – First Results In

According to ISS, Emerson Electric (the Fergusson, Mo. – based electrical equipment manufacturer) was the first U.S. company to which ISS applied its new Equity Plan Scorecard policy....more

Community Redevelopment Law Conflict-of-Interest Rules Apply to Successor Agencies

California Attorney General Weighs In on Rule That Will Impact Members of Successor Agencies’ Governing Boards and Employees - The California Attorney General recently opined that the conflict-of-interest rules under...more

The Future of Premium Subsidies under the Affordable Care Act: 'Halbig v. Burwell' and 'King v. Burwell'

Both decisions addressed whether tax credits are available for residents in states that have federally-facilitated health exchanges. The District of Columbia Court of Appeals said “no”; the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals...more

How Big Is Halbig? The Viability of the ACA’s Employer Mandate Hangs in the Balance

For employers with employees in the 36 states with a federally facilitated exchange, the question arises how the Halbig decision impacts their decision and strategy to provide health coverage to their employees when the...more

New Video Series with the ACC Provides Peer-To-Peer Ethics & Compliance Training for Senior Executives [Video]

Ethics and compliance training programs are typically designed for employees, and often do not address the issues and the specific responsibilities that high-level executives face daily. These leaders can pose the highest...more

SOX Whistleblower Protections Extend to Private Companies: Critical Steps to Take Now [Video]

The Supreme Court in Lawson vs FMR, LLC (delivered March 4, 2014 after a 6-3 vote) has ruled that employees of private companies engaged by public companies are covered by the whistleblower protections of Sarbanes-Oxley Act...more

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