Proskauer - Whistleblowing & Retaliation

OSHA’s Advisory Guidance on Anti-Retaliation Programs

On January 13, 2017, OSHA published the Recommended Practices for Anti-Retaliation Programs. OSHA’s guidance provides examples and suggestions of steps companies can take to implement an effective anti-retaliation program. …more
| Civil Rights, Labor & Employment Law

Sixth Circuit Declines to Address the Definition of Dodd Frank “Whistleblower”

On January 13, 2017, the Sixth Circuit in Verble v. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, LLC, declined an opportunity to be the third federal appellate court to address the definition of “whistleblower” under Dodd Frank’s…more
| Civil Rights, Commercial Law & Contracts, Labor & Employment Law, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

SEC Issues $5.5 Million Whistleblower Award

On January 6, 2017, the SEC announced the first whistleblower award this year.  The award of approximately $5.5 million, comes almost exactly a month after the SEC issued two awards totaling over $4.4 million…more
| Civil Rights, Commercial Law & Contracts, Labor & Employment Law, Securities Law

California Court Permits Whistleblowing Lawyer To Use Privileged Information

A California Federal Magistrate Judge in Sanford S. Wadler v. Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc. et al., No. 3:15-cv-02356 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 20, 2016), recently ruled that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act preempts California’s ethical rules…more
| Civil Rights, Commercial Law & Contracts, Conflict of Laws, Labor & Employment Law, Securities Law

District of Massachusetts Clarifies Immunity Defense Burden Under Defend Trade Secrets Act

As noted in our previous post, in May 2016, President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), which establishes a federal cause of action for misappropriation of trade secrets into law. As part of its protections, the…more
| Civil Procedure, Civil Remedies, Civil Rights, Labor & Employment Law, Intellectual Property

Highlights of SEC’s 2016 Annual Whistleblower Report

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Whistleblower recently released its sixth Annual Report on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program to Congress, which details information on the SEC’s activities and bounty…more
| Civil Rights, Commercial Law & Contracts, Labor & Employment Law, Securities Law

SEC Issues Two Large Whistleblower Awards

In less than one week, the SEC issued two whistleblower awards totaling over $4.4 million. On December 5, 2016, the SEC issued a whistleblower award of approximately $3.5 million. Several days later, on December 9, 2016, the SEC…more
| Civil Rights, Commercial Law & Contracts, Labor & Employment Law, Securities Law

Former CFO Awarded $1.9 Million In SOX Case

An ALJ at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently ruled that a former CFO was entitled to approximately $1.9 million in back pay, front pay, and compensatory damages, concluding that he was retaliated against in violation of…more
| Administrative Law, Civil Rights, Commercial Law & Contracts, Labor & Employment Law, Securities Law

NY Law Journal Report: Trump And The Future Of The SEC Whistleblower Program

As reported by Ryan Barber of the National Law Journal, the Trump administration could change the trajectory of the SEC whistleblower office, potentially halting the SEC’s recent strict scrutiny of potential impediments for…more
| Civil Rights, Commercial Law & Contracts, Elections & Politics, Labor & Employment Law, Securities Law

E.D. Pennsylvania Limits Protected Activity Under SOX

In Westawski v. Merck & Co., No. 14-cv-3239 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 18, 2016), the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted Defendant Merck & Co. (Company) summary judgment on Plaintiff Joni Westawski’s (Plaintiff) SOX whistleblower…more
| Civil Procedure, Civil Rights, Commercial Law & Contracts, Labor & Employment Law, Securities Law

Seventh Circuit Issues Ruling Interpreting False Claim Act Whistleblower Amendments

The Seventh Circuit recently issued a decision interpreting the anti-retaliation provisions of the False Claims Act (FCA). The decision provides important clarifications about how courts may interpret recent amendments to this…more
| Civil Procedure, Civil Rights, Labor & Employment Law, Government Contracting

Proskauer Joins Heads of SEC & OSHA Whistleblower Programs in Webinar

On September 27, 2016, Proskauer Partner Steven J. Pearlman, co-head of the Whistleblowing & Retaliation Practice Group, participated in a Bloomberg webinar with Jane Norberg, Acting Chief of the SEC Office of the Whistleblower,…more
| Administrative Law, Civil Rights, Commercial Law & Contracts, Labor & Employment Law, Securities Law

Whistleblower’s Attorney’s Communications with Regulators Found to be Protected by Work Product Doctrine

A California Magistrate Judge in BofI Federal Bank v. Erhart ruled that a whistleblower’s attorney’s communications sent to federal regulators were protected by the attorney work product doctrine. No. 15-cv-2353 (S.D. Cal. Aug…more
| Civil Procedure, Civil Rights, Labor & Employment Law

SDNY Refuses to Dismiss Executive’s Dodd-Frank Retaliation Claim

On August 24, 2016, the Southern District of New York denied Defendants’ motion to dismiss a Dodd-Frank whistleblower retaliation claim brought by its former co-CEO and Executive Chairman of its Board of Directors, finding that…more
| Civil Procedure, Civil Rights, Commercial Law & Contracts, Labor & Employment Law, Securities Law

E.D. Wisconsin: SOX Does Not Protect Whistleblower Complaints Based On Immaterial, Routine Events

On August 25, 2016, the Eastern District of Wisconsin granted the Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment on its former CEO’s SOX whistleblower claim. The court ruled that Plaintiff’s complaint to the Board of Directors did not…more
| Civil Rights, Commercial Law & Contracts, Labor & Employment Law, Securities Law
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