Labor & Employment Administrative Agency Civil Rights

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Labor & Employment issues written by leading professionals.
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SEC Announces Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Award for Compliance Professional

On Wednesday, April 22nd, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it had awarded approximately $1.5 million to a whistleblower who had served as a compliance officer of the company about which he blew the...more

SEC Awards Compliance Officer Whistleblower Bounty of Approximately $1.5 Million

Wednesday, the SEC announced that it would pay an unidentified compliance officer a whistleblower bounty award of between $1.4 and $1.6 million. This is the second award that the SEC has made to a whistleblower with internal...more

ALJ Nixes Hospital's Broad English-Only Rule Under NLRA

For years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has cautioned employers against adopting strict English-only rules in the workplace. The EEOC considers such policies to constitute race and/or national origin...more

EEOC Consent Decrees are its Most Powerful Enforcement Mechanisms

The vast majority of settlements between an employer and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) take the form of a court-approved consent decree. This document is a public record designed to highlight and...more

DOL to Enforce Same-Sex Spouses FMLA Regulation In All But Four States

In our previous post, Same-Sex Marriage Partners Now Covered by FMLA, we reported on the final FMLA rule that expanded the definition of “spouse” under the FMLA to include employees in legal same-sex marriages. ...more

SEC Assault on Employee Confidentiality Agreements

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced an enforcement action against KBR, Inc., alleging that a form of confidentiality agreement used in internal investigations violated an SEC whistleblower rule. To...more

In-House Counsel Risk SEC Enforcement for Some Confidentiality Agreements - Following Best Practices as Part of a Comprehensive...

Confidentiality agreements are boilerplate in many legal departments, but they shouldn't be. In-house counsel need to review all currently effective confidentiality agreements with anyone who could potentially be a...more

NLRB Report Targets Unlawful Employer Handbook Rules

On March 18, the National Labor Relations Board's Office of the General Counsel (OGC) published a Report Concerning Employer Rules that discusses a variety of employee handbook rules addressed by the board in recent cases....more

Increased Governmental Scrutiny for Employee Confidentiality Restrictions

Employers should be aware of recent federal agency activity that may require modifications to employee confidentiality agreements. The federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a press release on April 1, 2015,...more

Could The SEC Ask Airlines To Produce Data On Delayed And Canceled Flights?

The following story is fiction.   It was imagined following the SEC’s recently settled action against KBR, Inc. Airlines were caught completely off guard yesterday by SEC letters asking that they produce five years of...more

Is Your Confidentiality Agreement a Ticking Time Bomb? SEC’s First Action Over Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Protections Targets...

For the first time in the nearly five years since Dodd-Frank went into effect, the SEC last week took action against a company over concerns that the company was preventing its employees from potentially blowing the whistle...more

SEC Brings First Action Against Company for Potentially Stifling Whistleblowers With Confidentiality Statement

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently charged KBR, Inc., a Delaware corporation specializing in technology and engineering, with a Rule 21F-17(a) violation for using language in employee confidentiality statements...more

SEC Message to Government Contractors: Don't Limit Whistleblowing

On April 1, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) settled its first enforcement action against a company for violating whistleblower protections by including restrictive language in confidentiality agreements used in...more

Reed Smith's Government Contracts Weekly Rundown - April 2015

Here is a rundown of last week’s top developments related to government contracts to get you back on track and ready for this week....more

SEC Challenges Employee Confidentiality Agreements

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently announced that it brought (and resolved) an enforcement action against a company for allegedly discouraging whistleblower complaints by requiring employees to sign...more

SEC Announces Enforcement Action Regarding Employee Confidentiality Agreement

On April 1, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its first settlement of an enforcement action under the SEC’s Rule 21F-17, which prohibits any person from taking “any action to impede an individual from...more

SEC's Attack on Confidentiality Agreements

Keeping its promise announced last year, the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 1, 2015, released a cease-and-desist order ("Order") declaring illegal a publicly traded company's use of a confidentiality agreement...more

Beware of Confidentiality Agreements

If you are a public company or an entity that is subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), then this warning now applies to you. On April 1, the SEC announced its first enforcement action...more

SEC Announces First Enforcement Action Involving Restrictive Language in Confidentiality Agreement under Dodd-Frank Whistleblower...

On April 1, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its first enforcement action involving restrictive language in an employee confidentiality agreement that it contends has “the potential to stifle the...more

What Successful Whistleblowers Have in Common

As required by the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC makes monetary awards to eligible individuals who voluntarily provide original information that leads to successful SEC enforcement actions resulting in monetary sanctions over $1...more

SEC Brings Enforcement Proceeding Relating to Confidentiality Agreements That May Stifle Whistleblowers

After repeated public statements warning companies that might seek to stifle whistleblowers, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has brought its first enforcement action relating to language in confidentiality...more

SEC Says Confidentiality Agreements May Impede Whistleblowers

On April 1, 2015, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) filed its first enforcement action under Section 21F of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) and Exchange Act Rule...more

SEC Imposes Fine on KBR for Violating Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Protection Rule

On April 1, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced the resolution of its first enforcement action against a company for violations of the whistleblower protection provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act...more

SEC Makes Good on Its Promise to “Un-Muzzle” Employees from Cooperating in SEC Investigations

In a much-anticipated move, the SEC on April 1, 2015 commenced a cease-and-desist action against KBR (formerly Kellogg Brown & Root) alleging its confidentiality agreements violated Dodd-Frank’s whistleblower regulations. KBR...more

SEC Enforcement Action Puts Publicly-Traded Contractors’ Internal Investigation Policies in the Crosshairs

KBR, Inc., has agreed to pay a civil money penalty of $130,000 to settle allegations by the Securities and Exchange Commission that KBR violated the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Specifically, the...more

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