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Office of Whistleblower Annual Report (Version 2014); More of the Same or Progress on Dodd-Frank Objectives?

The SEC released its Fiscal Year 2014 Annual Report (the “Report”) to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program on November 18, 2014. The Report analyzes the tips received over the last twelve months by the SEC’s...more

Highlights of SEC’s 2014 Annual Report

On November 17, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Whistleblower (“OWB”) released its fourth Annual Report on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program to Congress, which details information on OWB’s...more

Fifth Circuit Finds SOX Violation in Disclosure of Whistleblower’s Identity

The Fifth Circuit affirms the DOL Administrative Review Board’s decision that employer disclosure of a whistleblower’s identity in a document retention notice constitutes an adverse action....more

SEC Describes Profiles of Successful Whistleblowers

In its 2014 Report to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program, the SEC described the profile of successful whistleblowers. Because the SEC must keep the identity of whistleblowers confidential, it can only describe...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

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

SEC Whistleblower Office Reaches Three-Year Anniversary

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Whistleblower has only been open since August 2011, yet it has already made a pretty big name for itself in protecting the rights of whistleblowers and...more

The High Cost of Whistleblowing

In a number of recent posts, we have highlighted the SEC’s whistleblower program, which offers awards of 10%-30% of the money collected where a whistleblower provides high-quality, original information that results in an SEC...more

Crackdown on Employer NDAs Without Whistleblower Protections

An October 27 letter from Rep. Maxine Waters and seven other House Democrats (from the Financial Services & Oversight Committee) asked the SEC to double down on scrutiny of employer confidentiality agreements that might...more

Third Circuit Sizes Up Dodd-Frank’s Anti-Arbitration Provision

On October 24, 2014, in Khazin v. TD Ameritrade Holding Corp, et al., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit heard oral argument on an issue of first impression (within that forum): whether Dodd-Frank applies...more

Connecticut Broadens Exemptions to Law Limiting Credit Checks

Connecticut has added mortgage brokers, lenders, and servicing companies to the list of “financial institutions” exempted under the state’s existing law limiting credit checks for purposes of employment. The amendment, which...more

FINRA Proposes Rule Strengthening Background Checks

Last month, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued a proposed rule requiring member firms to strengthen their background investigations of applicants seeking registration. The proposed rule adopts,...more

Blog: Director Of SEC Whistleblower Office To Staff: I Want To Pump You Up* To Find Whistleblower Retaliation Cases

According to Law360, the director of the SEC’s whistleblower office, Sean McKessy, is exhorting the staff of that office to set a high priority on cases involving employer retaliation for whistleblower complaints. During an...more

Final Disclosure Rules Regarding Women on Boards and in Senior Management

TSX-listed companies will almost certainly need to include disclosure in their information circulars or annual information forms on the representation of women on their boards and in senior management for the 2015 proxy...more

FINRA Again Cautions Against Confidentiality Provisions Silencing Whistleblowers

As reported this week by Law360 (subscription required), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently issued a reminder (Regulatory Notice 14-40) warning firms against the use of confidentiality provisions in...more

FINRA Reminds Anti-Whistleblower Provisions Are Not Permitted in Settlement Agreements

FINRA has published a regulatory notice where it reminds firms that it is a violation of FINRA Rule 2010 (Standards of Commercial Honor and Principles of Trade) to include confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements...more

Government's Message to Corporate America — "We Want Your Whistleblowers!"

On September 22, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) Office of the Whistleblower announced that it had issued a $30 million bounty payment to a foreign whistleblower. This award is more than double the...more

SEC Announces Largest Whistle-Blower Award In Program’s History

On September 22, the SEC announced that it expects to award more than $30 million to a whistleblower who provided key information in connection with an ongoing fraud enforcement action. The award will be the largest to date...more

SEC Takes Action for Retaliation Against Whistleblower

The SEC has brought its first enforcement action for alleged retaliation against a whistleblower under the SEC’s Dodd-Frank whistleblower rules. The case demonstrates the Hobson’s choice companies face when they become aware...more

Legal Alert: Largest SEC Whistleblower Award Could Have Been Larger

On September 22, 2014, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced the largest-ever whistleblower award, more than double last year’s record-breaking award. According to the Order, the award, which will likely...more

SEC Puts Their Money Where Their Mouth Is: $30 Million Awarded to Whistleblower

On September 22, 2014, the SEC announced its largest whistleblower award to date under its Dodd-Frank whistleblower bounty program. It awarded $30-$35 million to an anonymous whistleblower who the Commission said provided...more

United States: U.S. Supreme Court Dramatically Expands Whistleblower Law

On March 4, 2014, the U.S. Supreme court in Lawson v. FMR, LLC, 134 S.Ct. 1158, held in a 6-3 decision that employees of a private company that is a contractor or subcontractor of public company are entitled to whistleblower...more

SEC Announces $30 Million-Plus Whistleblower Award

The SEC announced an expected award of more than $30 million to a foreign whistleblower who provided “key original information” that led to a successful enforcement action by the agency. The award will be the largest made by...more

More Women on Boards: It’s the Economy, Stupid

Earlier this month, the editors of Bloomberg published “Companies Can’t Afford Not to Have Women on Boards,” an editorial that advocated the importance of increasing the number of women directors, contending that the paucity...more

Federal Appeals Court Says Dodd-Frank Does Not Protect Overseas Whistleblowers

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has ruled that the Dodd-Frank Act does not protect whistleblowers outside the United States. In Liu Meng Lin v. Siemens AG, Case No. 13-4385-cv (2nd Cir. August 14,...more

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