News & Analysis as of

A Divided Ninth Circuit Extends Dodd-Frank's Anti-Retaliation Protection for Whistleblowers

Without a bright line requirement of an SEC contact to trigger whistleblower status, employers may not learn until after termination that an employee claims to be a whistleblower. Employees often raise internal questions,...more

Ninth Circuit — Dodd-Frank Protects Internal Whistleblowers

On March 8, 2017, a split three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a Northern District of California decision declining to dismiss a Dodd-Frank whistleblower retaliation claim because the plaintiff did...more

Maryland District Court Dismisses SOX and Dodd Frank Whistleblower Claims

On March 1, 2017, the District of Maryland dismissed a Dodd Frank whistleblower retaliation claim because the plaintiff failed to allege that he had complained directly to the SEC about a violation of securities laws, and...more

Why You Shouldn’t Relax on Pretaliation—Even if Policymakers Do

About two years ago, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) made history when it brought the first “pretaliation” whistleblower enforcement action against KBR Inc., a technology and engineering firm in Houston. The...more

Chris Lazarini Analyzes Application of Twombly in Retaliatory Discharge Case

Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Chris Lazarini analyzed a case in which the plaintiff claimed he was wrongfully terminated from employment at Morgan Stanley after the company discovered he reported alleged illegal activities to...more

SEC Whistleblower Program May Be Facing Congressional Cutback

According to a memo circulating amongst Republican-party leaders as of February 13th, Republicans in the House of Representatives are planning to propose a significant curtailment of the U.S. Securities and Exchange...more

Bank Whistleblower Suits Highlight Limits of Employee Confidentiality Agreements

Employers increasingly face the difficult scenario of employees who misappropriate company data in the pursuit of whistleblower claims alleging misconduct by the employer. Such cases can present a complex mix of regulatory,...more

S.D.N.Y. Dismisses Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Retaliation Claim

In one of the first cases to address the standard governing a motion for summary judgment in a Dodd-Frank whistleblower retaliation case, Judge Jed S. Rakoff ruled that two former executives of Vista Outdoor Inc. (the...more

Bio-Rad Stung by Nearly $8 Million Verdict in Whistleblower Lawsuit Brought by Former General Counsel

A jury recently found Bio-Rad Laboratories liable under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Dodd-Frank Act for nearly $8 million in damages after the company’s alleged retaliatory firing of its former general counsel, Sanford...more

Modern Whistleblower Retaliation Risk Require a Modern Framework

If compliance officers ever needed one more sign about the importance of anti-retaliation programs, it arrived on September 29, 2016. On that day, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC ) fined a company that makes...more

Whistleblower Conference Agenda Sizzles with Hot Topics

2016 was more than simply the most robust year in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement. It was also a record year in Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) whistleblower awards and additionally the year the SEC...more

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

SEC Brings Second Whistleblower Retaliation Case

The SEC has brought its second case for retaliation against a whistleblower against International Game Technology. According to the SEC, the whistleblower, a director of an IGT division, started working at IGT in 2008 and...more

This Cold Bud Is For You: SEC Sanctions Anheuser-Busch for “Chilling” Employee from Communicating with SEC

On September 28, 2016, the SEC announced that Anheuser-Busch agreed to pay $6 million to settle charges of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Dodd-Frank whistleblower violations. The SEC’s order stated that AB InBev violated...more

Anheuser-Busch InBev and Lessons in Joint Venture FCPA Compliance

Just in time for National Beveridge Day comes the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) enforcement action involving Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI), where the company paid $6 million to settle charges that it violated the FCPA and...more

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...more

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

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...more

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...more

8th Circuit Dismisses Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank Retaliation Claims

In Beacom v. Oracle America, Inc., the United States Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit considered retaliation claims under Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank. The essence of the matter was a business unit of Oracle...more

A Review of Recent Whistleblower Developments

SEC Awards Bounty to Whistleblower, But Offsets Award for a Judgment Against the Whistleblower - The extent to which the SEC would reward whistleblowers, who themselves engaged in wrongdoing, has been the subject of...more

SEC Intervenes In Former In-House Attorney’s Whistleblower Lawsuit

On March 28, 2016, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filed an amicus brief in a whistleblower lawsuit brought by a former in-house attorney against Vanguard Group (the “Company”).  The case is Danon v....more

OSHA Releases Final Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Regulations

OSHA recently released its final rule implementing the whistleblower provisions of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 (“CFPA”).  The following are the key features of the rule...more

S.D.N.Y Dismisses Former Employee’s SOX and Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claims

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York recently granted a motion for summary judgment dismissing a plaintiff’s SOX and Dodd-Frank whistleblower claims. The court ruled that the plaintiff failed to...more

Court Tosses Dodd-Frank Retaliation Claim – No Proof of Whistleblowing or Retaliation

In Yang v. Navigators Group, Inc., the Southern District of New York granted summary judgment for the defendant on a dual pronged complaint claiming unlawful retaliation under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Dodd-Frank Act. ...more

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Cybersecurity

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