Securities Civil Rights

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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

Yates, Whistleblowers and FCPA Pilot Project: Re-Examining Your Internal investigation Protocols

Companies face an ever-changing constellation of risks, enforcement priorities and demands for internal controls and compliance program elements. As more resources are poured into government enforcement programs, companies...more

SEC Enforcement Expands Scope of Prohibited Provisions in Employment-Related Agreements

Summary - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its second significant enforcement action against an employer based on confidentiality and release provisions that the SEC asserts will discourage...more

SEC Fines Company for Agreements Restricting Whistleblowers

The SEC has fined an Atlanta company $265,000 for using various severance agreements restricting whistleblower activities. The Dodd-Frank Act added ’34 Act § 21F encouraging whistleblower programs....more

Five on Friday – Five Recent Developments that We’ve Been Watching Closely: August 2016

It’s Friday and time for another overview of developments in the field of business and human rights that we’ve been monitoring....more

Review Severance Agreements For Unlawful Anti-Whistleblower Provisions

On Wednesday, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) settled with Atlanta-based BlueLinx Holdings over claims that the publicly traded building products distributor’s severance agreements stifle protected...more

SEC Bounty Hunters Take Heart: SEC Fines Company $265,000 for Using Severance Agreements That Provided a Waiver of any Monetary...

Wednesday, the SEC announced that an Atlanta-based company, BlueLinx Holdings, is settling charges that its severance agreements contained provisions that in its view might impede employees from communicating directly with...more

SEC Issues Cease-and-Desist Order Against Severance Agreement Clause Limiting Whistleblowers' Rights to Recover Bounty Awards

On August 10, 2016, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued a cease-and-desist Order and imposed remedial sanctions against a publicly traded company for including language in its severance agreements requiring...more

OSC Whistleblower Program Launched

On July 16, 2016, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) announced the launch of its Office of the Whistleblower. This is the first paid whistleblower program by a securities regulator in Canada. Subject to eligibility...more

Veil Parted on SEC Whistleblower Award

Early this year, the SEC announced it had paid a whistleblower award of “more than $700,000” to a company “outsider” who “conducted a detailed analysis” that led to a successful enforcement action against the company....more

Agencies announce submission of diversity self-assessments to OMWIs can begin

In a notice to be published in tomorrow’s Federal Register, the CFPB, OCC, Fed, FDIC, SEC, and NCUA announce that the Office of Management and Budget has approved the “information collection” contained in their “Final...more

SEC to Address Board Diversity

In a recent speech, SEC Chair Mary Jo White addressed board diversity. Chair White cited some important statistics in her remarks. She noted that minority directors on boards of the top 200 companies on the S&P 500 have...more

Employee Benefits Developments - June 2016

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued final regulations describing how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) apply to employer wellness...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

Mind the (Pay) Gap: Investor Requests for Reports on Gender Pay Disparities Are on the Rise

According to media reports, this year several high-profile companies, including Apple, Facebook, and Intel, have received or responded to proposals from investors requesting shareholder votes on the issue of whether the...more

Here’s a Tip: “Substantial and Important Contributions” to Pre-Existing SEC Investigations Can Pay Off For Whistleblowers

In a move evidencing the SEC’s continued commitment to its whistleblower program, the Commission announced on Friday that it has awarded a whistleblower over $3.5 million for providing information that did not lead to a new...more

Five on Friday – Five Recent Developments that We’ve Been Watching Closely - April 2016 #2

It’s Friday and time for another overview of developments in the field of business and human rights that we’ve been monitoring....more

CFPB’s Office of Minority and Women Inclusion issues annual report

The CFPB’s Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) has issued its third annual report to Congress covering the OMWI’s activities in 2015. The Dodd-Frank Act required the CFPB and various other federal agencies,...more

Recent SEC Enforcement Actions and Public Commentary Demonstrate the Commission’s Continued Focus on Internal Control Failures

We have previously written about how, over the past few years, the SEC and other regulatory agencies have devoted substantial resources to investigations regarding allegations that public companies have inadequate internal...more

Even Whistleblowers Must Pay the Piper

In a heavily redacted decision issued on April 5, 2016, the SEC approved the claim of one whistleblower and denied the claim of another for providing information related to an unidentified enforcement action. The SEC awarded...more

CFTC Awards More than $10 Million to Whistleblower

On April 4, 2016, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) announced a whistleblower award of more than $10 million. This is only the third whistleblower award that the CFTC has approved since the inception of the...more

Former Hedge Fund Manager’s Civil Rights Suit Against New York U.S. Attorney Permitted to Proceed into Discovery

Shortly into his tenure as United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara announced a crackdown on insider trading, indicating that it would be his office’s “top criminal priority” and that...more

Maloney Introduces Board Gender Diversity Bill

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney introduced HR 4718, which would require that the SEC establish a Gender Diversity Advisory Group. The Group would be responsible for studying and making recommendations to the Commission on...more

Three’s Company: SEC Awards Nearly $2 Million to Whistleblower Trio

On March 8, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued an order awarding a trio of whistleblowers a bounty of almost $2 million. One whistleblower will receive the lion’s share of the bounty — $1.8 million —...more

Board Diversity

A group of Democratic Congressmen wrote to Chair White urging the Securities and Exchange Commission to take action to consider additional disclosure requirements...more

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