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U.S. Supreme Court Passes On Opportunity To Address Scope of Dodd-Frank “Whistleblower” Provision

On Monday, March 20, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in Verble v. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, LLC. (No. 16-946), thereby declining an opportunity to resolve a conflict amongst circuit...more

A Divided Ninth Circuit Extends Dodd-Frank's Anti-Retaliation Protection for Whistleblowers

Without a bright line requirement of an SEC contact to trigger whistleblower status, employers may not learn until after termination that an employee claims to be a whistleblower. Employees often raise internal questions,...more

Where Was the Whistle Blown? Split in Circuits over Retaliation Protection for Reporting Securities Violations

If you report your company for a federal securities violation, just how safe is your job? Curiously, that may depend on where you live. Recently, the Ninth Circuit weighed in, adding to a split among courts across the country...more

Circuit Split on Whistleblower Protections Widens

On March 8, 2017, a divided panel of the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion in Somers v. Digital Realty Trust Inc. that further widened a circuit split on the issue of whether the anti-retaliation provisions in the Dodd-Frank...more

SEC Claws Back Award for Dawdling Whistleblower, as Feds Signal Changes in Award Eligibility

Seyfarth Synopsis: Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission released an Order Determining Whistleblower Award Claim holding that the whistleblower’s award should be reduced to 20% of the monetary sanctions collected...more

Ninth Circuit Decides in Favor of Expanded Whistleblower Protections

In Somers v. Digital Realty, the Ninth Circuit joins the Second Circuit in holding that whistleblower protections apply to individuals who report securities violations internally, not just to those who report to the...more

Ninth Circuit — Dodd-Frank Protects Internal Whistleblowers

On March 8, 2017, a split three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a Northern District of California decision declining to dismiss a Dodd-Frank whistleblower retaliation claim because the plaintiff did...more

Maryland District Court Dismisses SOX and Dodd Frank Whistleblower Claims

On March 1, 2017, the District of Maryland dismissed a Dodd Frank whistleblower retaliation claim because the plaintiff failed to allege that he had complained directly to the SEC about a violation of securities laws, and...more

Chris Lazarini Analyzes Application of Twombly in Retaliatory Discharge Case

Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Chris Lazarini analyzed a case in which the plaintiff claimed he was wrongfully terminated from employment at Morgan Stanley after the company discovered he reported alleged illegal activities to...more

Corporate News - February 2017

A monthly newsletter covering topics of interest in the field of UK corporate law including mergers and acquisitions, listed companies, equity capital markets, corporate governance and general company law. Please see...more

German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) Releases Online Whistleblowing System

On January 1 2017, the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (“BaFin”) set up an online whistleblowing system allowing anyone to anonymously report alleged violations of supervisory law. BaFin is the national...more

Proskauer To Present On Whistleblower Developments At ABA Midwinter Meeting

On February 24, 2017 at 10:30 am, Proskauer Partner Connie Bertram will speak on “Whistleblower Provisions of Sarbanes Oxley” at the American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law’s Federal Labor Standards...more

Modern Whistleblower Retaliation Risk Require a Modern Framework

If compliance officers ever needed one more sign about the importance of anti-retaliation programs, it arrived on September 29, 2016. On that day, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC ) fined a company that makes...more

SEC Continues Crackdown on Employer Whistleblower Restrictions

Takeaways: - SEC is targeting contract terms that appear to restrict contact with the SEC or require employee whistleblowers to waive monetary recoveries. - Express disclosure of these rights in severance...more

Sixth Circuit Declines to Address the Definition of Dodd Frank “Whistleblower”

On January 13, 2017, the Sixth Circuit in Verble v. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, LLC, declined an opportunity to be the third federal appellate court to address the definition of “whistleblower” under Dodd Frank’s...more

SEC Issues $5.5 Million Whistleblower Award

On January 6, 2017, the SEC announced the first whistleblower award this year.  The award of approximately $5.5 million, comes almost exactly a month after the SEC issued two awards totaling over $4.4 million....more

Recent Whistleblower Protection Actions by SEC and Congress Add Risk to Severance Agreements

Two recent SEC enforcement actions that describe how severance agreements may violate whistleblower protections under the federal securities laws if not properly drafted were the subject of a recent article by Perkins Coie...more

Highlights of SEC’s 2016 Annual Whistleblower Report

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Whistleblower recently released its sixth Annual Report on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program to Congress, which details information on the SEC’s activities and bounty...more

SEC Issues Two Large Whistleblower Awards

In less than one week, the SEC issued two whistleblower awards totaling over $4.4 million. On December 5, 2016, the SEC issued a whistleblower award of approximately $3.5 million. Several days later, on December 9, 2016, the...more

Employment Law - December 2016

Voters Embrace Minimum Wage Increases, Legalized Marijuana - Why it matters - While employers wait to see the impact of Donald Trump's forthcoming presidency, voters made their feelings clear on two...more

Former CFO Awarded $1.9 Million In SOX Case

An ALJ at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently ruled that a former CFO was entitled to approximately $1.9 million in back pay, front pay, and compensatory damages, concluding that he was retaliated against in violation...more

Employers Beware: SEC Continues Offensive on Employment Agreements That Inhibit Whistleblowers

Risk Alert (literally)! Standard provisions in employment agreements, severance agreements and policies may run afoul of the SEC’s whistleblower regulations. In the wake of several highly publicized enforcement actions by the...more

NY Law Journal Report: Trump And The Future Of The SEC Whistleblower Program

As reported by Ryan Barber of the National Law Journal, the Trump administration could change the trajectory of the SEC whistleblower office, potentially halting the SEC’s recent strict scrutiny of potential impediments for...more

OCIE Staff to Examine Registered Advisers' Policies and Agreements for Whistleblower Rule Compliance

On October 24, 2016, OCIE published a risk alert noting that the SEC exam staff intends to examine registrants' compliance with the Dodd-Frank Act's whistleblower provisions. The alert noted recent enforcement actions...more

E.D. Pennsylvania Limits Protected Activity Under SOX

In Westawski v. Merck & Co., No. 14-cv-3239 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 18, 2016), the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted Defendant Merck & Co. (Company) summary judgment on Plaintiff Joni Westawski’s (Plaintiff) SOX whistleblower...more

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