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Retaliation Litigation on the Rise: The SEC’s Broadening Interpretation of Dodd-Frank’s Whistleblower Provisions

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (“Act”) instituted sweeping changes to the financial sector of American industry. In addition to increased federal oversight, the Act implemented a...more

New Jersey District Court: Dodd-Frank Protects Internal Whistleblower

Further reflecting the divide amongst courts regarding the definition of “whistleblower” under the Dodd-Frank Act, the District Court of New Jersey recently held that an employee who internally reports an alleged securities...more

Macron Law: its major changes

The law for growth, activity and equal opportunities, known as “Macron Law” (hereafter referred as “the Law”) has been approved on 6 August, 2015. From the reform of the procedure before employment tribunals to the...more

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

Eleventh Circuit Again Affirms Dismissal of Stock Drop Claim Against Delta Air Lines

The Eleventh Circuit affirmed dismissal of ERISA breach of fiduciary claims against Delta Air Lines and other alleged plan fiduciaries in connection with a defined contribution plan’s investments in Delta Air Lines stock. ...more

No Damages Awarded for ERISA Plan Fund Mapping Claims

Mapping in a 401(k) plan occurs when an investment option is removed and the participant’s investment in that option is transferred to a different investment option (absent direction from the participant). On remand from the...more

Declaration of Independence: Preserving the Role of the Independent Fiduciary Post-Dudenhoeffer

In the wake of Fifth Third v. Dudenhoeffer, a complaint that seeks to hold an ERISA fiduciary liable for failing to divest a plan of employer stock based solely upon publicly available information fails to state a plausible...more

Cal. Court Limits Protected Activity Under Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Provision

In Nazif v. Computer Sciences Corporation, No. 13-cv-5498 (N.D. Cal. June 17, 2015), the Northern District of California granted Defendant Computer Sciences Corp. (Company) summary judgment on Plaintiff Nazif’s Dodd-Frank...more

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

June 2015 Independent Contractor Compliance and Misclassification News Update

The month of June 2015 created more newspaper stories and blog posts on the subject of independent contractor misclassification than any other. Why? Uber lost an IC misclassification case and FedEx Ground agreed to pay $228...more

Supreme Court Denies Review of Fourth Circuit Loss Causation Case

The U.S. Supreme Court recently declined to grant certiorari to review the Fourth Circuit’s decision in RJR Pension Investment, et al. v. Tatum, 761 F.3d 363 (4th Cir. 2014). As we previously reported, a divided panel of the...more

Second Circuit Tackles “Whistleblower” Protection Under Dodd-Frank

Last week, the Second Circuit heard oral arguments in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy, a case that places squarely before the Court the question of who is a “whistleblower” within the meaning of the Dodd-Frank Act Wall Street Reform and...more

Yet Another Reason to Consider Separate Annual Limits on Director Equity Awards

As reported in a prior blog post, public company employers that are adopting or amending equity-based compensation plans should consider adding a separate annual limit on director equity awards. In a recent Delaware Chancery...more

$228 Million: The Cost of Independent Contractor Misclassification for FedEx Ground in California

Yesterday, June 12, FedEx announced in papers filed with the SEC that its Ground Division “has reached an agreement in principle with [drivers] in the independent contractor litigation that is pending in …California [federal...more

6th Circuit Reverses Itself, Abandons “Definitively and Specifically” Standard For SOX Whistleblower Protected Activity

On May 28, 2015, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an employee who reports allegedly fraudulent conduct engages in protected activity under SOX where he or she has a reasonable belief that the activity reported is...more

Wal-Mart Allowed to Omit Shareholder Proposal for Oversight of Products Sold

On April 14, 2015, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals vacated an injunction against Wal-Mart that would have required it to include a shareholder proposal in its 2015 annual proxy statement. Wal-Mart will now be able to omit...more

Delaware Chancery Approves a Books and Records Request Concerning Alleged Subsidiary Fraud in Oklahoma Firefighters Pension and...

In Oklahoma Firefighters Pension & Ret. Sys. v. Citigroup Inc., No. CV 9587-ML (VCN), 2015 WL 1884453 (Del. Ch. Apr. 24, 2015), a Delaware Chancery Court judge found that Del. Code Ann. tit. 8, § 220 (“Section 220”) permitted...more

Inside the Courts - An Update From Skadden Securities Litigators - May 2015 / Volume 7 / Issue 2

In This Issue: - U.S. Supreme Court: ..Omnicare, Inc. v. Laborers Dist. Council Constr. Indus. Pension Fund, 135 S. Ct. 1318 (4th Cir. Mar. 16, 2015) - Auditor Liability: ..In re Advanced Battery Techs.,...more

Court Of Chancery Explains The “Personal Claim” Exception To Advancement Rights

In the area of what claims are subject to the right to have fees advanced to a former officer or director, there is no more often disputed issue than whether the claim asserted arose out of the role as an officer or director...more

California District Court Holds that Internal Tipsters Are Protected Under Dodd-Frank

On May 5, 2015, in Somers v. Digital Realty Trust Inc., No. C-14-5180, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California held that an internal complaint of an alleged securities law violation is sufficient to...more

Director Compensation After Calma v. Templeton: Proactive Steps to Consider

Delaware case exposes director compensation to heightened “entire fairness” standard absent adequate stockholder ratification - The Delaware Court of Chancery recently decided a case that makes it easier for plaintiffs...more

Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of ERISA Stock Drop Claims

The Second Circuit recently affirmed the dismissal of an ERISA stock drop class action because, like the district court, it held that Named Plaintiff Debra Taveras lacked constitutional standing to pursue her claims. Taveras...more

"Fairness of Director Awards Granted Under Market-Standard Equity Plans Comes Under Increased Scrutiny"

A Delaware court opinion issued late last week may subject equity grants to directors to increased judicial scrutiny (Calma v. Templeton, No. 9579-CB (Del. Ch. Apr. 30, 2015)). In Calma, the Chancery Court denied the...more

Court Of Chancery Explains Limits Of Ratification Defense

This decision reviews the history of the effect of stockholder ratification on director compensation. Briefly, stockholder ratification will cause the compensation to be subject to the business judgment standard of review...more

Court Offers Good Privilege News for Draft Form 10-K Filings

Courts disagree about the attorney-client privilege protection's applicability to draft documents whose final version will be publicly disclosed. Public companies naturally worry about this issue's impact on their draft...more

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