Proskauer - Whistleblowing & Retaliation

OSHA Launches “Expedited Case Processing Pilot” For Whistleblower Claims

On August 1, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) launched a new pilot program, titled “Expedited Case Processing Pilot,” in its Western region. The program enables a complainant filing claims under whistleblower statutes…more
| Administrative Law, Civil Rights, Labor & Employment Law

SEC Continues To Scrutinize Separation Agreements

On August 16, 2016, the SEC announced that Health Net Inc. (Company) agreed to pay a $340,000 penalty to settle charges that it violated Rule 21F-17 by using severance agreements that allegedly prohibited its employees from…more
| Civil Remedies, Commercial Law & Contracts, Labor & Employment Law, Securities Law

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
| Administrative Law, Civil Procedure, Civil Rights, Labor & Employment Law, Securities Law

SEC Penalizes Company For Severance Language Purportedly Impeding Complaints

On August 10, 2016, the SEC announced that BlueLinx Holdings Inc. (Company) is settling charges that it violated Rule 21F-17 by requiring outgoing employees to waive whistleblower bounty awards in connection with severance…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Finance & Banking, Labor & Employment Law, Securities Law

SEC Affirms Denial of Bounties to Three Purported Whistleblowers

On July 19, 2016, the SEC issued an order upholding the SEC Claims Review Staff’s (“CRS”) Preliminary Determination denying three claims for whistleblower awards. The SEC’s order explains how the claimants’ bounty requests were…more
| Finance & Banking, Securities Law

SEC Whistleblower Chief Sean McKessy to Leave, Agency Announces

On July 8, 2016, the SEC announced the departure of Sean X. McKessy, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower. Mr. McKessy was the first to hold that role and started his post in February 2011. Mr. McKessy is credited…more
| Finance & Banking, Securities Law

S.D.N.Y. Dismisses SOX and Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claims For Lack Of Protected Activity

On June 22, 2016, Judge Daniels of the Southern District of New York dismissed SOX and Dodd-Frank whistleblower claims, ruling that Plaintiff’s alleged internal complaints did not constitute protected activity, as they did not…more
| Civil Procedure, Labor & Employment Law, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

Eighth Circuit Deals Significant Blow To SOX And Dodd-Frank Whistleblowers

On June 6, 2016, the Eighth Circuit affirmed the Minnesota District Court’s grant of summary judgment on SOX and Dodd-Frank whistleblower retaliation claims based on the plaintiff’s failure to establish a reasonable belief that…more
| Civil Procedure, Labor & Employment Law, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

SEC Issues $17 Million Whistleblower Award

On June 9, 2016, the SEC issued a stunning $17 million award to a former employee, whose “detailed tip” provided original information to SEC enforcement staff that “substantially advanced their investigation” into the…more
| Finance & Banking, Securities Law

No Bounty For Purported Tipster

On May 31, 2016, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued an order upholding the SEC Claims Review Staff’s (“CRS”) Preliminary Determination denying a claim for a whistleblower award in connection with the…more
| Administrative Law, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

Fourth Circuit Upholds Four-Year Front-Pay Award To Whistleblower

On May 20, 2016, the Fourth Circuit affirmed the decision of the ARB, finding that a former employee of Deltek, Inc. (Company) was retaliated against in violation of Section 806 of SOX and entitled to four years’ worth of front…more
| Administrative Law, Civil Remedies, Labor & Employment Law

SEC Issues Two Multi-Million Dollar Whistleblower Awards

Over the past week, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced two multi-million dollar awards to whistleblowers who provided the SEC with information in ongoing investigations. On May 13, 2016, the SEC…more
| Business Organizations, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

SOX Whistleblower Receives $250,000 Award Related to State Wage Act Complaints

The ARB recently concluded that a former program manager was entitled to recover more than $250,000 in back pay and benefits under Section 806 of SOX based on his discipline and constructive discharge. The ARB clarified that a…more
| Administrative Law, Civil Procedure, Civil Remedies, Finance & Banking, Labor & Employment Law

CFTC Issues Record-High Whistleblower Bounty Award

On April 4, 2016, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued its third and largest award, of more than $10 million, as part of its Dodd-Frank whistleblower program. As was the case with the CFTC’s two previous…more
| Business Organizations, Civil Procedure, Finance & Banking, Securities Law

In 10-1 Verdict, Jury Finds No FCA Violation by Abbott Laboratories

On April 7, 2016, after just three hours of deliberations following a three-week trial, a federal jury dismissed False Claims Act (“FCA”) claims against Abbott Laboratories brought by a whistleblowing former employee.  The jury…more
| Civil Procedure, Communications & Media Law, Government Contracting, Science, Computers, & Technology
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