Securities Labor & Employment Civil Rights

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SEC Announces Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Award for Compliance Professional

On Wednesday, April 22nd, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it had awarded approximately $1.5 million to a whistleblower who had served as a compliance officer of the company about which he blew the...more

SEC Enforcement Gives Employers a Strong Incentive to Clarify That Their Confidentiality Agreements Do Not Preclude Reporting...

The Securities and Exchange Commission? (“SEC”) has resolved its first enforcement action regarding a potentially overreaching confidentiality agreement following the “voluntary” revision of the agreement to state that it...more

Federal agencies attack employment agreements, and what you can do about it: 8 steps to consider

The US Securities and Exchange Commission recently caused shockwaves when it announced its first enforcement action against a company for using an allegedly improper confidentiality agreement during internal investigations....more

The Employment Law Authority - March/April 2015 #2

In This Issue: - Supreme Court Revives Pregnant UPS Worker's Suit - Spouses of H-1B Visa Holders Applying for Residency Eligible for Work Permits - Turning Metrics Into Money: An Interview With Solange Charas,...more

Beware of Confidentiality Agreements with Employees; Make Sure They Don’t Stifle Whistleblowing

On April 1, 2015, the SEC announced its first enforcement action against a company for utilizing language in a confidentiality agreement which could discourage whistleblowing....more

SEC Awards Compliance Officer Whistleblower Bounty of Approximately $1.5 Million

Wednesday, the SEC announced that it would pay an unidentified compliance officer a whistleblower bounty award of between $1.4 and $1.6 million. This is the second award that the SEC has made to a whistleblower with internal...more

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

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

Increased Governmental Scrutiny for Employee Confidentiality Restrictions

Employers should be aware of recent federal agency activity that may require modifications to employee confidentiality agreements. The federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a press release on April 1, 2015,...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

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