Labor & Employment Administrative Agency Securities

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White Calls for SEC to Adopt Uniform Fiduciary Standard

SEC Chair Mary Jo White said Tuesday that the SEC needs to move forward on a uniform fiduciary standard for the financial industry, including brokers. Addressing the annual meeting of the Securities Industry and Financial...more

Study Finds Whistleblowers Increase Penalties of Regulatory Enforcement Actions

A recent academic paper found that whistleblower involvement in financial misrepresentation enforcement actions tends to increase (1) penalties against firms by an average of $77 million, (2) penalties against employees by an...more

SEC Whistleblower Inquiry Raises Concerns About Protection of Confidential and Privileged Information

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, the SEC has launched an inquiry into whether corporations are using confidentiality agreements to prevent employees from communicating with the SEC about potential securities...more

Two Former Capital One Employees Who Traded On Customer Data, Consent to Preliminary Injunction

Insider trading cases are built on two basic theories. Under the traditional, classic model, a corporate insider uses material, non-public information obtained from his or her employer to trade in shares of the company –...more

Labor Department issues procedures for handling SOX whistleblower complaints

The United States Department of Labor has issued a Final Rule regarding procedures for handling employee whistleblower retaliation claims under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and...more

SEC Investigating Companies’ Employment Contracts That Restrict Whistleblowing

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may soon be investigating the agreements companies make with their employees. According to a February 25, 2015 Wall Street Journal report, the SEC has sent requests to several...more

Show Me The Money: Yes, Even Corporate Officers Can Collect Dodd-Frank Bounty Awards

On March 2, 2015, the SEC announced a whistleblower bounty award of between $475,000 and $575,000, its 15th under the Dodd-Frank whistleblower program. While the SEC’s order is scant on detail, it does disclose that the award...more

Will You Blow The Whistle Or Should I? The SEC Grants An Award to a Whistleblower Who Learns of Fraud From Another Employee.

Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced an award payout of between $475,000 and $575,000 to a former company officer who reported information about an alleged securities fraud. While this is by no means...more

First SEC Whistleblower Award To Former Company Officer

On March 2, 2015, the SEC announced an expected award of $475,000 to $575,000 to a former company officer “who reported original, high-quality information about a securities fraud that resulted in an SEC enforcement action...more

The SEC Will Be Your Employment Law Agency, Too

The nature of the SEC’s business a regulator of public companies lends a certain expansive aspect to its jurisdiction. That is, when your job as a government agency is to be sure public companies are making complete and...more

"Aggressive SEC Enforcement Approach Creates New Challenges for Resolving Investigations"

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) pursued aggressive enforcement of the securities laws in the past year. Several trends related to the SEC's vigorous approach are likely to continue in 2015....more

Court Rules That Outing a Whistleblower Constitutes Retaliation

When whistleblowers intend to remain in their company after alerting authorities to wrongdoing, it is imperative that they are able to maintain their privacy so that they would not be the victims of retaliation by other...more

SEC Finds Loan to Investment Adviser’s CEO a Conflict of Interest

Consulting Services Group, LLC, or CSG, was a registered investment adviser whose business included providing consulting services to public pension funds. These consulting services included recommending third-party investment...more

Fifth Circuit Rules Revealing Whistleblower's Identity Is Materially Adverse Action

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that a notice revealing a whistleblower's identity to other employees can be considered a "materially adverse" action and violates the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX). The...more

SEC’s Second Amicus Brief On Whether Dodd-Frank Protects Internal Reports

On December 11, 2014, the SEC filed an amicus brief in support of Plaintiff-Appellant Mikael Safarian asking the Third Circuit to revive his Dodd-Frank whistleblower claim and endorse the agency’s definition of...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

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

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

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Document Preservation Notices Can Lead to SOX Violation!

On November 12, 2014, the Fifth Circuit affirmed a Department of Labor finding that Halliburton retaliated against a whistleblower by including his name in a document preservation notice. The court also held that emotional...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

Lights Out for a 401(k) Investment Fund? Don't Forget the Blackout Notice Rules.

One of your company’s 401(k) investment fund options is underperforming. Or, perhaps the fund is no longer appropriate for your employees. Or, perhaps a fund’s wildly successful fund manager has jumped ship to another fund...more

Does SEC Gain an Advantage Bringing Insider Trading Cases in Home Court?

Following the loss of two high-profile insider trading cases, the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) is hoping to improve its chances in future actions by taking advantage of expanded administrative powers under the...more

Did the Summer Shine any Light on Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Land?

The summer saw a significant new development in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) whistleblower bounty program but failed to see any development on obtaining clarification as to the reach of the Dodd-Frank...more

SEC Brings Another Bond Case Against A State

The SEC’s nationwide review of municipal bond disclosures yielded another enforcement action, this time against the state of Kanas. The Order centers on claims that the state failed to disclose its huge unfunded pension...more

OSHA Releases Interim Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Regulations

OSHA recently released the interim final text of regulations implementing the whistleblower protection provision (Section 1057) in Dodd-Frank. The interim final regulations establish the timing and processes for handling...more

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