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SEC Applies Whistleblower Protections to Confidentiality Arrangements

Public companies should review their confidentiality arrangements for any provisions that may result in unintended violations of the Dodd-Frank Act’s whistleblower protections....more

DOL Fiduciary Rule to Revamp Regulation of Advice to Plans and IRAs

Reproposal would broaden the fiduciary definition, narrow exceptions, and substantially revise prohibited transaction exemptions applicable to current and newly covered fiduciaries....more

House Republicans ask CFPB and banking agencies to disclaim “Operation Choke Point”

Six Republican members of the House Financial Services Committee, including Chairman Jeb Hensarling, have sent identical letters to the CFPB, OCC, Fed and NCUA asking each agency to “publicly disclaim [its] past, present, and...more

Pensions Alert UK: April 2015 reforms: Final regulations made

The introduction of the DC flexibilities announced in last year’s Budget is now only a matter of days away, and in recent weeks various sets of regulations have been made in final form which will come into force on 6 April...more

U.S. Department of Labor Grace-fully Extends Disclosure Deadline by Two Months for Participant-Directed Retirement Plans

The United States Department of Labor (the “DOL”) announced on March 18, 2015, a “direct” final rule (the “Final Rule”) extending the time in which annual disclosures must be provided by fiduciaries of participant-directed...more

How might the Supreme Court’s decision in Perez v. MBA affect the CFPB?

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Ass’n invalidated a significant line of D.C. Circuit case law known, after the leading case, as the Paralyzed Veterans doctrine. A case involving a series...more

Combating pension scams

For some time now, the issue of transfer requests and pension scams (often referred to as pension liberation) has been a difficult one for trustees of occupational pension schemes. On the one hand, members may have rights to...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

A Review of Recent Whistleblower Developments

• Fourth Circuit Applies Two-Year Statute of Limitations to SOX Whistleblower Claim and Confirms Availability of Emotional Distress Damages • SDNY Holds That SOX Protects Employee From Retaliation for Activity Engaged...more

ERISA: 6 New Trends in DOL Enforcement Actions

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) just issued a “Fact Sheet” describing Fiscal Year 2014 civil and criminal enforcement activity under ERISA....more

Federal and State Agencies Announce $714 Million FX Settlement

On March 19, four federal and state agencies –DOJ, the Department of Labor (DOL), the SEC, and New York Attorney General – entered into a proposed $714 million settlement agreement against a large bank to resolve allegations...more

ERISA — 5 Quick Points: Blowing a Deadline for Decision is Not Necessarily Fatal to Abuse of Discretion Standard

You already know that ERISA regulations require the plan administrator to render a decision on an administrative appeal within 45 days....more

U.S. Supreme Court Weighs in on Labor Department’s Interpretation of Overtime Rules for Mortgage Loan Officers

We know that many of you are aware of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association. The Court held that the U.S. Department of Labor was not required to follow notice and comment procedures in...more

DOJ Announces Two More ‘Operation Choke Point’ Settlements

With the recent announcement by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that it had settled separate lawsuits against two small banks charged with facilitating consumer fraud through their relationships with third-party payment...more

Ninth Circuit Rules That Harmless Procedural Violation Does Not Alter Standard of Review

The Ninth Circuit held that a plan administrator’s failure to render a decision on a long-term disability benefits claim within the period mandated by the plan and ERISA did not alter the standard of review that the court...more

DOL Clarifies Timing Requirement for Annual Investment-Related Disclosures

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a modification to the fee and investment-related disclosure requirements for ERISA individual account retirement plans that allow participants to direct the...more

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

OSHA Issues Long-Awaited SOX Whistleblower Rule

On March 5, 2015, OSHA issued a long-awaited Final Rule regarding SOX whistleblower procedures and related matters. The new Final Rule will replace the Interim Final Rule enacted in 2011, after Dodd-Frank amended SOX. The...more

Supreme Court Rules That Agency Interpretive Rules Are Not Subject to Notice-and-Comment Rulemaking

Recently, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous judgment that government agency "interpretive rules" are not subject to notice-and-comment rulemaking, but cautioned that those same rules do not carry the "force and effect of...more

Supreme Court Ruling Makes Mortgage Loan Officers Eligible for Overtime Pay

Federal agencies now have the authority to interpret their own rules. On March 9, 2015, in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Ass’n, No. 13-1041, slip op. (U.S. Mar. 9, 2015), the United States Supreme Court effectively gave...more

Supreme Court Grants Federal Agencies Wide Discretion in Interpreting Regulations

On March 9, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) does not require federal agencies to go through the formal rulemaking process when making changes to rules interpreting regulations,...more

U.S. Supreme Court Notice, Comment Not Required for Federal Agencies Interpreting Regulations

The U.S. Supreme Court decided in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association that federal agencies are not required to use the Administrative Procedure Act's (APA) notice and comment procedures when issuing or making changes to...more

Can Mortgage Loan Officers Still be Exempt from FLSA Overtime Requirements?

On March 9, 2015, the United States Supreme Court issued an opinion upholding a 2010 Department of Labor (DOL) interpretative rule finding that mortgage loan officers are generally not administratively exempt from Fair Labor...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

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