Securities Civil Rights

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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

Fleet-Footed Investigations and Prompt Remedial Action: The New Normal

Does your company respond to all internal concerns immediately, investigate them thoroughly and remediate them with unmatchable speed? What if the concern comes from an officer, director, lawyer, compliance professional,...more

Three Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Anti-Retaliation Claims Fail

Courts recently issued three opinions on the whistleblower anti-retaliation provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. In Murray v. UBS Securities, LLC, Mr. Murray claimed he was terminated because he refused to skew his...more

SEC Sweep on NDAs Restricting Whistleblowers

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the SEC is in the midst of a sweep to crack down on companies’ use of NDAs or employment agreements that might impede whistleblower reporting in violation of Dodd-Frank...more

Does Former Officer Have An Obligation To Turn Over Whistleblower Award?

Monday, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced “a whistleblower award payout between $475,000 and $575,000 to a former company officer who reported original, high-quality information about a securities fraud that...more

SEC Continues to Investigate Contractual Impediments to Whistleblower Complaints

As Rachel Louise Ensign reported earlier this week in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) continues to probe obstacles to corporate employees blowing the whistle. This...more

SEC Targeting Broad Employee Confidentiality Clauses

February 27, 2015 Authors: Gregory Keating and Harry Jones The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recently contacted a number of companies seeking every confidentiality agreement, nondisclosure agreement, settlement...more

Another SEC Whistleblower Amicus Brief On Whether Dodd-Frank Covers Internal Complaints

On February 6, the SEC filed its third amicus brief defending its interpretive rule on Dodd-Frank’s anti-retaliation provision, 15 U.S.C. §78u-6(h)(1). The impetus is a ruling out of the Southern District of New York in...more

To Whom Must The Whistle Blow? SEC Asks Second Circuit for Deference on Scope of Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Protection

In an amicus brief filed earlier this month in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy LCC, the SEC asked the Second Circuit to defer to the Commission and hold that individuals who report misconduct internally are covered by the...more

Court Finds Naming Names in Public Filings and Imprudent Emails Support Action For Retaliation

In Celia Greengrass v. International Monetary Systems, Ltd., 2015 WL 137891, (7th Cir. Jan. 12, 2015), the Seventh Circuit relied in part on the fact that an employer identified a former employee by name in its discussion of...more

SEC: Whistleblower Protections Extend To Those Who Report Internally

A critical component of the SEC’s whistleblower program is the anti-retaliatory provisions of Exchange Act Section 21F, added to the statute by the Dodd-Frank Act. To implement that provision the Commission promulgated two...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

Employers Be Aware: OSC Proposes Incentive-Based Whistleblower Program

The Ontario Securities Commission (the OSC) recently published “OSC Staff Consultation Paper 15-401” which sets out a proposed framework for an incentive-based whistleblower program. This program aims at incentivising...more

OSC Proposes New Whistleblower Program, with Financial Awards

Ontario may soon become the first Canadian jurisdiction to implement a whistleblower program for suspected securities law violations. On February 3, 2015, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) issued Staff...more

Blog: Disclosure of employee litigation in periodic reports: between Scylla and Charybdis?

A recent case from the 7th circuit, Greengrass v. International Monetary Systems, Ltd., No. 13-2901, decided January 12, 2015, may be useful to keep in mind now that it’s 10-K season. ...more

4th Circuit: 4 Year Statute Of Limitations Applies To SOX Claims

The Fourth Circuit recently held that SOX whistleblower retaliation claims are subject to a four-year statute of limitations and that emotional distress damages are available in SOX actions. Jones v. SouthPeak Interactive...more

Disclosure of Charging Party's Name in Securities Filing Can Constitute Retaliation Under Title VII

Publically traded companies are required by law to disclose to shareholders pending legal matters that could materially affect their stock price. According to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, an employer’s disclosure of...more

Diversity Reports at Two Federal Agencies Offer Glimpse of Regulatory Review under Impending Dodd-Frank Diversity Standards

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank), signed by President Obama in 2010 in response to the financial crisis, includes a provision intended to remedy racial and gender discrepancies at...more

California AG Declares Whistleblower Tally A State Secret

Since 2004, the California Attorney General has been required to maintain a whistleblower hotline to receive calls from persons who have information regarding possible violations of state or federal statutes, rules, or...more

Litigation Disclosures Can Constitute Title VII Retaliation

Here is something to watch out for. Earlier this month, the U.S Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that naming an EEOC claimant in the legal proceedings section of a company’s periodic reports may constitute...more

10-K Conundrum: 7th Circuit Holds Corporate Filings Can Lead To Employment Claims

A recent Seventh Circuit decision provides a cautionary tale for employers deciding what level of detail about litigated matters to include in publicly disclosed Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filings. The court...more

Quirky Question #251, Naming Names in SEC Filings?

Question: Our publicly traded company must file a disclosure with the SEC, and we’re trying to determine what information to include regarding recent charges of discrimination that former employees have filed with the...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

You’ve Gotta Be Kidding. THIS Is Retaliation?

I am not making this up. International Monetary Systems, Ltd., is facing a jury trial on a retaliation claim made by a former employee. The company is going to trial because it listed the plaintiff by name on the disclosures...more

7th Circuit Finds That Naming EEOC Claimant in SEC Filing May Have Been Retaliatory

Celia Greengrass worked as an account executive for International Monetary Systems, Ltd. ("IMS"). In September 2007, Greengrass made an internal complaint about alleged harassment by a manager; two months later, she quit her...more

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