Securities Civil Rights

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Employment Law - April 2015

To Accommodate or Not to Accommodate? U.S. Supreme Court Weighs in on Pregnant Employees - Why it matters: The U.S. Supreme Court decided the first of two major employment law cases this term when a 6-3 majority of...more

Back in a Flash: Sergey “Flash Boy” Aleynikov Returns to Court for New Trial

Sergey Aleynikov’s six-year odyssey through the U.S. judicial systems—both federal and state—continues.  Last week, Aleynikov stepped into a New York State courtroom to defend himself at trial against a pair of criminal...more

In Case You Missed It - Interesting Items for Corporate Counsel - April 2015

We knew someone would do this for us if we just waited long enough. A summary of early trends in proxy access responses suggests most are including the shareholder proposal and recommending a no vote. See here. Only a single...more

SEC Assault on Employee Confidentiality Agreements

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced an enforcement action against KBR, Inc., alleging that a form of confidentiality agreement used in internal investigations violated an SEC whistleblower rule. To...more

SEC Blows the Whistle on Confidentiality Agreements

Thanks to a recent enforcement action brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), it may be time to review and revise the confidentiality provisions in employment agreements, severance agreements, employee...more

How to Conduct Internal Investigations Outside the United States

Think of a U.S.-headquartered multinational when it receives an allegation of serious misconduct at one of its overseas operations. Maybe the company whistleblower hotline just got a tip that a secretary in the Buenos Aires...more

Petition Urges DOL To Target Contractual Clauses Discouraging Whistleblowing

The Government Accountability Project (GAP) and Zuckerman Law recently petitioned the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) to issue rules and guidance prohibiting “de facto” gag clauses in settlement and severance agreements that...more

In-House Counsel Risk SEC Enforcement for Some Confidentiality Agreements - Following Best Practices as Part of a Comprehensive...

Confidentiality agreements are boilerplate in many legal departments, but they shouldn't be. In-house counsel need to review all currently effective confidentiality agreements with anyone who could potentially be a...more

Could The SEC Ask Airlines To Produce Data On Delayed And Canceled Flights?

The following story is fiction.   It was imagined following the SEC’s recently settled action against KBR, Inc. Airlines were caught completely off guard yesterday by SEC letters asking that they produce five years of...more

Is Your Confidentiality Agreement a Ticking Time Bomb? SEC’s First Action Over Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Protections Targets...

For the first time in the nearly five years since Dodd-Frank went into effect, the SEC last week took action against a company over concerns that the company was preventing its employees from potentially blowing the whistle...more

SEC Brings First Action Against Company for Potentially Stifling Whistleblowers With Confidentiality Statement

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently charged KBR, Inc., a Delaware corporation specializing in technology and engineering, with a Rule 21F-17(a) violation for using language in employee confidentiality statements...more

SEC Message to Government Contractors: Don't Limit Whistleblowing

On April 1, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) settled its first enforcement action against a company for violating whistleblower protections by including restrictive language in confidentiality agreements used in...more

Reed Smith's Government Contracts Weekly Rundown - April 2015

Here is a rundown of last week’s top developments related to government contracts to get you back on track and ready for this week....more

SEC Challenges Employee Confidentiality Agreements

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently announced that it brought (and resolved) an enforcement action against a company for allegedly discouraging whistleblower complaints by requiring employees to sign...more

SEC Announces Enforcement Action Regarding Employee Confidentiality Agreement

On April 1, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its first settlement of an enforcement action under the SEC’s Rule 21F-17, which prohibits any person from taking “any action to impede an individual from...more

SEC's Attack on Confidentiality Agreements

Keeping its promise announced last year, the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 1, 2015, released a cease-and-desist order ("Order") declaring illegal a publicly traded company's use of a confidentiality agreement...more

Beware of Confidentiality Agreements

If you are a public company or an entity that is subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), then this warning now applies to you. On April 1, the SEC announced its first enforcement action...more

SEC Announces First Enforcement Action Involving Restrictive Language in Confidentiality Agreement under Dodd-Frank Whistleblower...

On April 1, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its first enforcement action involving restrictive language in an employee confidentiality agreement that it contends has “the potential to stifle the...more

Employment Law Commentary - Volume 27, Issue 3 - March 2015: Does The Government Think Your Confidentiality Agreements Chill...

INTRODUCTION - Employers routinely incorporate confidentiality provisions into a variety of agreements, including employment, proprietary information, separation and settlement agreements. In an era when many...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

SEC Brings Enforcement Proceeding Relating to Confidentiality Agreements That May Stifle Whistleblowers

After repeated public statements warning companies that might seek to stifle whistleblowers, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has brought its first enforcement action relating to language in confidentiality...more

SEC Says Confidentiality Agreements May Impede Whistleblowers

On April 1, 2015, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) filed its first enforcement action under Section 21F of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) and Exchange Act Rule...more

SEC Imposes Fine on KBR for Violating Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Protection Rule

On April 1, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced the resolution of its first enforcement action against a company for violations of the whistleblower protection provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act...more

SEC Makes Good on Its Promise to “Un-Muzzle” Employees from Cooperating in SEC Investigations

In a much-anticipated move, the SEC on April 1, 2015 commenced a cease-and-desist action against KBR (formerly Kellogg Brown & Root) alleging its confidentiality agreements violated Dodd-Frank’s whistleblower regulations. KBR...more

SEC Enforcement Action Puts Publicly-Traded Contractors’ Internal Investigation Policies in the Crosshairs

KBR, Inc., has agreed to pay a civil money penalty of $130,000 to settle allegations by the Securities and Exchange Commission that KBR violated the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Specifically, the...more

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