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When Does an Anti-Arbitration Provision Not Prohibit Arbitration of a Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claim?

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, enacted on July 21, 2010, provides broad whistleblower protections to individuals who report certain possible violations of federal securities laws. Mindful that...more

SEC Seeks To “Overrule” Fifth Circuit Whistleblower Interpretation

In Asadi v. G.E. Energy United States, L.L.C., 720 F.3d 620 (5th Cir. 2013), the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that an employee who reported a suspected Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violation internally but not to the...more

SEC Reports FY 2014 as a Historic Year for Whistleblower Program

According to the annual report issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), fiscal year 2014 was a "historic" one for the whistleblower program initiated pursuant to the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law. In...more

The Split Deepens: New York District Court Holds Internal Reporting Not Protected Under Dodd-Frank

In Berman V. Neo@Ogilvy LLC, 1:14-cv-523 (Dec. 4, 2014), Judge Gregory Woods of the Southern District of New York dismissed a Dodd-Frank whistleblower retaliation claim on the ground that internal reporting is not protected...more

Higher burdens in SOX whistleblower retaliation claims - 5 tips for employers

Two recent decisions have clarified the heightened burden facing employers addressing whistleblower retaliation claims under Section 806 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). On October 9, 2014, in Fordham v. Fannie Mae,...more

Safeguarding a Whistleblower’s Identity

Everyone knows that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act prohibits retaliation against whistleblowers. It may be less obvious, however, that merely disclosing a whistleblower’s identity can constitute prohibited retaliation. Nevertheless,...more

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

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

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