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A Review of Recent Whistleblower Developments

SEC Brings First Stand-Alone Whistleblower Retaliation Enforcement Action - On September 29, 2016, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) brought its first stand-alone whistleblower retaliation case under...more

Small Business Securities Bulletin: Standard Confidentiality Provisions May Be Prohibited "Pretaliation" in Eyes of SEC

As we discussed in our June 2011 Bulletin, available here, SEC rules promulgated under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (Exchange Act), pursuant to Section 21F thereunder as enacted by the Dodd-Frank Wall...more

Proskauer Joins Heads of SEC & OSHA Whistleblower Programs in Webinar

On September 27, 2016, Proskauer Partner Steven J. Pearlman, co-head of the Whistleblowing & Retaliation Practice Group, participated in a Bloomberg webinar with Jane Norberg, Acting Chief of the SEC Office of the...more

CFTC Proposes Amendments to Whistleblower Awards Process and Anti-Retaliation Authority

The amendments would make the CFTC’s whistleblower awards process more uniform with the SEC’s program and would enable the CFTC to bring enforcement actions against employers that retaliate against whistleblowers....more

Recent SEC Enforcement Actions Prompt Consideration of Whistleblower Carve-outs

The recent settlement of SEC enforcement actions concerning the Dodd Frank Act’s whistleblower provisions are prompting companies and their counsels to evaluate current and prospective severance and confidentiality agreements...more

Public Companies to Revise Employee Confidentiality and Severance Provisions

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued two Cease and Desist Orders that dramatically change the landscape for employee contractual confidentiality provisions, as well as for employee waiver and release...more

Standard Severance Agreements May Need to Be Revised

Many employers offer severance agreements to departing employees which, at least in part, are designed to protect the employer from disclosures of confidential information and from any future claims or recovery by the...more

Update on Lawsuits Challenging the U.S. Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule

As we previously reported, there are five pending lawsuits challenging the U.S. Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule. Our Client Alert on the new rule outlines the significance of the rule and the implications of the...more

Wisconsin District Court Follows 5th Circuit: Internal Tipsters Are Not Considered “Whistleblowers” Under Dodd-Frank

On August 12, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in Lamb v. Rockwell Automation Inc., No. 15-CV-1415-JPS (E.D. Wis. Aug. 12, 2016) held that the Dodd-Frank whistleblower protection provision...more

3 Severance Agreement Time-bombs

Last week the SEC entered a cease and desist agreement with BlueLinx Holdings, fining the company $265,000.00 for including unlawful confidentiality and waiver provisions in its severance agreements. BlueLinx used a variety...more

The Whistle Blows Again: SEC Pays Second Largest Whistleblower Bounty Award

On June 9, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission (‘SEC”) awarded the second largest whistleblower bounty – $17 million – granted under the Dodd-Frank whistleblower rules to date. Previously, the highest whistleblower...more

Financial Services Weekly News - June 2016 #2

Regulatory Developments - CFPB Proposed Rule to Limit Payday Lending and Other High Cost Loans - On June 2, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) proposed a rule designed to limit payday loans, auto title...more

Sixth Circuit Rejects “Definitively, Specifically” Standard for SarbOx Whistleblower Claims

The Sixth Circuit this week rejected the “definitively and specifically” standard that had required a Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower’s “reasonable belief” to closely track each element of the legal cause of action for the fraud...more

Is It Time to Switch Gears? Enforceability of Automotive Company Employee Confidentiality Restrictions

Given the large workforces and importance of intellectual property and trade secrets in the automotive industry, automotive companies rely heavily on confidentiality provisions in employment agreements and employee handbooks....more

SEC Approves Proposed Rules for Executive Compensation

On April 29, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) narrowly approved proposed rules requiring certain reporting companies to disclose the relationship between pay to named executive officers and performance by...more

Alert: SEC Proposes New Rules on Pay Versus Performance When "Compensation Actually Paid" is Not Compensation Actually Paid and...

On April 29, 2015, the SEC voted to propose rules requiring public companies to disclose the relationship between compensation actually paid and company financial performance. The proposal comes almost five years after the...more

Expanded Whistleblower Protections Impact Confidentiality Policies and Agreements

All employers should review their confidentiality policies and agreements to ensure adequate protections for whistleblowers in the wake of recent actions by both the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the National...more

SEC Proposes Pay-Versus-Performance Disclosure Rules

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently issued its long-awaited proposal for "pay-versus-performance" disclosure. The proposed rules would implement the requirements of Section 953(a) of the Dodd-Frank Wall...more

Whistle While You Work: SEC Announces First Retaliation Whistleblower Award

On June 16, 2014, the SEC issued its first-ever charge of whistleblower retaliation under section 922 of the Dodd-Frank Act, charging a hedge fund advisor and its owner with “engaging in prohibited principal transactions and...more

SEC proposed rule would require new "pay versus performance" table in proxy statements

As public companies navigate the 2015 proxy season, a potential change to executive compensation disclosure is on the horizon. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has proposed new rules to implement the...more

SEC Proposes New Executive Pay Versus Company Performance Disclosure Rules

On April 29, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted 3 to 2 to propose rules related to the disclosure of information that shows the relationship between executive compensation and the financial performance...more

SEC Proposes Pay Versus Performance Disclosure Rule

On April 29, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), by a three-to-two vote, proposed the pay versus performance disclosure rule required by Section 953(a) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer...more

Pay Versus Performance Rules Proposed by Securities and Exchange Commission

On April 29, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued another proposed rule under the Dodd-Frank Act, this time with respect to the pay versus performance requirements of Section 953(a) of the Act. ...more

Observations on the SEC’s Proposed Pay Versus Performance Rule

The SEC has issued a proposed rule to require companies to disclose the relationship between executive compensation and the financial performance of a company. The details of the proposed rule have been well publicized, and...more

Dodd-Frank of the North? Incentive-Based Whistleblower Program Coming to Canada

It will be of significant interest to US corporations that make securities filings with the Ontario Securities Commissions (“OSC”), that on February 3, 2015, the OSC published “Staff Consultation Paper 15-401”, which sets out...more

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