Employment Law Commentary - Volume 24, No. 13 - January 2011

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In 2010, Congress enacted landmark federal legislation aimed at reforming the health care and financial sectors. Both the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 20102 and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”)3 provide expansive protection to whistleblowers in the health care and financial services industries. Each of these statutes contains whistleblower provisions aimed at providing remedies for persons who suffer adverse employment action because they blow the whistle on alleged abuses within those sectors.

The most controversial aspects of these new laws are the new financial incentives (hereinafter called “bountyhunter provisions”), which are similar to the financial incentives available in qui tam actions under the federal False Claims Act. Section 922 of the Dodd-Frank Act creates new financial rewards for employees who raise concerns – anonymously if they wish – about violations of laws or regulations within the purview of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”).

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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