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Supreme Court Revisits Stock Drop Fiduciary Standards

In Amgen v. Harris, the Supreme Court for the second time considered whether the plan participants sufficiently stated a claim against the plan fiduciaries for breach of fiduciary duty under ERISA by continuing to provide...more

Employment Law - January 2016 #2

EU Permits Employers to Monitor Private Employee Communications - Why it matters - In a favorable ruling for employers, the European Union's (EU) highest court concluded that an employee's right to privacy was not...more

SCOTUS Meant What It Said & Said What It Meant: Dudenhoeffer Imposes Higher Pleading Standards

In a rebuke to the Ninth Circuit, the Supreme Court granted the Amgen defendants’ petition for certiorari, reversed the Ninth Circuit’s judgment and remanded the case for further proceedings consistent with its opinion in the...more

Harris v. Amgen

On January 25, 2016, the United States Supreme Court issued an opinion in Harris v. Amgen that will impact the pleading standard for stock drop litigation. The plaintiffs in Harris are former employees of Amgen Inc. who...more

S.D.N.Y Dismisses Former Employee’s SOX and Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claims

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York recently granted a motion for summary judgment dismissing a plaintiff’s SOX and Dodd-Frank whistleblower claims. The court ruled that the plaintiff failed to...more

Holiday Pay: Clear Blue Skies Ahead?

Paying employees for their annual leave in the UK used to be viewed as a straightforward process, with many companies calculating holiday pay at the employee’s basic pay rate. However, in 2014, several employment law...more

SEC Whistleblower Report Shows Increase in “Tips”

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Office of the Whistleblower (Office) recently released its 2015 Annual Report on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program (Report) (November 16, 2015)....more

Court Tosses Dodd-Frank Retaliation Claim – No Proof of Whistleblowing or Retaliation

In Yang v. Navigators Group, Inc., the Southern District of New York granted summary judgment for the defendant on a dual pronged complaint claiming unlawful retaliation under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Dodd-Frank Act. ...more

Another ROBS Gone Wrong – IRS Disqualifies ESOP

On November 23, 2015 the U.S. Tax Court issued a declaratory judgment that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) did not abuse its discretion in issuing a Letter of Revocation of the tax qualified status of the Fleming...more

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

Tennessee District Court Limits Scope of Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claim

The Eastern District of Tennessee recently dismissed whistleblower claims, finding that the Plaintiff was not entitled to protection under Sarbanes-Oxley, Dodd-Frank, or the False Claims Act (“FCA”). Verble v. Morgan Stanley...more

Prudent is as Prudent Does: Divided Sixth Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment in Favor of State Street in Post-Dudenhoeffer Review...

In 1995, the Third Circuit adopted the presumption that an employee stock ownership plan (“ESOP”) fiduciary’s decision to remain invested in the employer’s securities was prudent. Over the following years, a number of other...more

Four Things Companies Should Know About the SEC’s 2015 Whistleblower Report

The SEC recently published data showing significant increases in tips received under its Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program. Released on November 16, the 2015 annual report also provided important guidance to companies on the...more

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

Business Litigation Alert: "Court Ruling Allows Whistleblower to Sue Board Members"

A recent ruling in California federal court (here) broadens legal protections for whistleblowers and expands who can be held liable in retaliation cases. In the case, Wadler v. Bio-Rad Labs., Inc., a federal judge ruled that...more

Employment Flash - October 2015

SEC Adopts CEO Pay Ratio Rule - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently adopted a final rule requiring public companies to disclose the ratio of annual pay of their chief executive to median annual pay...more

California Federal Court Expands Whistleblower Protections

What you need to know: Last week, the Northern District of California held in Wadler v. Bio-Rad Laboratories, a case of first impression, that members of a company’s Board of Directors can be held individually liable...more

Connecticut’s Highest Court Expands Whistleblower Protections for Employees

What you need to know: Last Monday, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled in Trusz v. UBS Realty Investors that private sector employees who make whistleblower statements pursuant to their official job duties are protected...more

Supreme Court Ruling Emphasizes Need for Plan Monitoring

It appears court decisions frequently impact retirement plans. Starting with the U.S. Supreme Court, what impact will its recent ruling — confirming the ability of 401(k) participants to challenge high-cost investment options...more

A Review of Recent Whistleblower Developments

Second Circuit Splits from Fifth Circuit on Whistleblower SEC Reporting Obligations On September 10, 2015, the Second Circuit in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy LLC, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16071 (2d Cir. 2015), ruled that...more

District Court Denies Class Certification in Excessive Fee Case Against Service Provider

The plaintiffs, three plan participants, filed their lawsuit in 2012 and purported to assert claims on behalf of a class of all plans serviced by the defendants, affiliated entities that provided services to the plans and/or...more

Federal District Court Addresses Measure of Damages in ERISA Breach of Fiduciary Duty Case

Fiduciaries of two defined contribution retirement plans sponsored by the same employer (the “Plans”) sued the Plans’ former investment manager for breach of ERISA fiduciary duties and state law violations in connection with...more

Court Says There is no Private Cause of Action to Create an SEC Whistleblower Award

AgFeed Industries, Inc.’s accounting irregularities culminated in a March 2014 enforcement action brought against AgFeed by the SEC. The enforcement action yielded an $18 million disgorgement penalty, referred to as the...more

Fifth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Claims Involving De-risking of Pension Assets

In October 2012, a defined benefit plan sponsor amended its plan to provide that, effective Dec. 7, 2012, the plan would purchase an annuity to cover the plan’s obligations to make payments to the roughly 41,000 participants...more

Internal Whistleblowing Protected Against Retaliation Under Dodd-Frank Says Second Circuit

While the Dodd-Frank Act provides various protections to whistleblowers, federal courts have inconsistently interpreted who precisely qualifies as a whistleblower. In a much-anticipated opinion, the Second Circuit Court of...more

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