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2014 Global Ethics Benchmarking Report Reveals Workplace Retaliation On The Rise

We recently released our 2014 Global Ethics Benchmarking Report, an annual report that contains a thorough analysis of the previous five years of whistleblower hotline reporting data, that gives the market insight into...more

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Document Preservation Notices Can Lead to SOX Violation!

On November 12, 2014, the Fifth Circuit affirmed a Department of Labor finding that Halliburton retaliated against a whistleblower by including his name in a document preservation notice. The court also held that emotional...more

Revealing Whistleblower’s Identity is Retaliation

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that revealing a whistleblower’s identity is prohibited retaliation under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in Halliburton, Inc. v. Administrative Review Board, United States...more

A Review of Recent Whistleblower Developments

On July 31, 2014, the SEC awarded $400,000 to a whistleblower who had reported internally before providing information to the SEC. The award was unique because the SEC’s Claims Review Staff had denied the whistleblower’s...more

Washington Court of Appeals Expands "Jeopardy" Element of Claim for Wrongful Discharge in Violation of Public Policy

This month the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division III issued a ruling in Becker v. Community Health Systems, Inc. that expands protections in a wrongful termination action based on violation of a public policy....more

Second Circuit Strays From “Definitively and Specifically” Standard But Still Dismisses SOX Claim

On August 8, 2014, the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a SOX whistleblower retaliation claim brought by a former AECOM Technology Corp. (“Company”) employee, holding that he did not engage in protected activity...more

Eleventh Circuit Sustains Award To Employer In Whistleblower Case

In a warning to plaintiffs’ counsel who seek emotional distress damages for alleged whistleblower retaliation under Florida law, the Eleventh Circuit in Smith v. Psychiatric Solutions, Inc., 750 F.3d 1253 (11th Cir. May 6,...more

Fourth Circuit Determines Whistleblower Termination Not Retaliatory Discharge Under Sarbanes-Oxley

The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled recently that an employee’s termination after reporting his company’s potential connection to export violations and insider trading did not amount to a retaliatory discharge...more

Supreme Court Extends SOX Whistleblower Protection to Contractors

The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.” Following a rash of financial calamities largely caused by risky and illegal conduct within publicly traded...more

New York’s Court of Appeals Makes it Easier to Plead Whistleblower Law Claims

In a decision handed down last week, New York’s highest court ruled that a whistleblower need not plead the specific “law, rule or regulation” the employer allegedly violated to state a cause of action under New York’s...more

Employers Defending Against SOX Whistleblower Actions Should Prepare for a Long Ride

Employers defending against Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) whistleblower retaliation claims should be prepared for a long and potentially onerous litigation process, even if the claims lack merit. A recent district court decision...more

The Whistle Blower Provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley Extends to Employees of Privately Held Companies Under Some Circumstances

In a decision that expands considerably the number of employees covered by the whistle-blower provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the United States Supreme Court ruled earlier this month in Lawson v. FMR LLC that two former...more

Whistleblowing Claims Are Here To Stay

Every year the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) releases statistics reflecting how often various claims are presented to them. And every year one claim stands heads and shoulders above the rest: retaliation. ...more

Whistleblower Claims The Wave Continues

"The cover-up is often worse than the crime" – an apt mantra for employers who are being increasingly forced to defend retaliation and/or whistleblower claims brought in myriad industries under a broad spectrum of federal and...more

Lawson v. FMR: Are SarbOx Whistleblower Provisions A Horse Designed By Committee?

A camel (so the saying goes) is a horse designed by committee. It seems the Supreme Court may think the same of the whistleblower provisions in § 806 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Section 806 prohibits retaliatory...more

SEC’s Amicus Brief: Internal Whistleblower Reports Covered By Dodd-Frank Anti-Retaliation Provision

As we previously discussed, courts have struggled with determining the scope of the protections in Dodd-Frank’s anti-retaliation provisions. On the one hand, Dodd-Frank defines a “whistleblower” as any individual, or group of...more

SCOTUS Expands Sarbanes-Oxley to Include Contractors

In a stunning expansion of previously understood law, the Supreme Court held, on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, that the employees of a contractor to a publicly traded company may sue their employer for retaliation suffered as a...more

Retaliation Exposure Tipping Point? Supreme Court Extends SOX Whistleblower Protections to Private Company Employees

The Supreme Court in Lawson vs FMR, LLC (delivered March 4, 2014 after a 6-3 vote) has ruled that employees of private companies engaged by public companies are covered by the whistleblower protections of Sarbanes Oxley Act...more

Private Company Employees Who Blow the Whistle on Public Company Fraud Are Protected from Retaliation

When it passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (“SOX”), Congress established protections against retaliation for “employees” who report fraud at public companies. Since then, however, courts and commentators have disagreed...more

Supreme Court Expands SOX Whistleblower Protection to Employees of Private Contractors of Public Companies

In the first SOX whistleblower case to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Court held on March 4 that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) prohibits private contractors of publicly traded companies from retaliating...more

Supreme Court Expands Scope of Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Liability

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its opinion in Lawson v. FMR LLC, No. 12-3, holding that the whistleblower protections of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 protect not only the employees of regulated...more

Complaint about Foreign Tax Violations Sunk Under SOX

On February 12, 2014, the Fifth Circuit in Villanueva v. U.S. Department of Labor held that an employee did not engage in protected activity under SOX when he reported alleged violations of Columbian tax laws to U.S....more

Take 5 Newsletter: Five Hot Topics for Financial Services Industry Employers

The economy may be improving, but challenges remain for employers in the financial services industry. From ever-increasing whistleblower claims to new diversity and inclusion regulations and recent IRS determinations...more

What 2013 Gifts will Employers be Enjoying well into 2014?

The holidays have come and gone. I hope everyone enjoyed them, and I hope everyone received the gifts and presents they asked for. I come from a big family—three siblings, 14 aunts and uncles, and nearly twenty cousins....more

Federal Courts Take Divergent Approaches to Jury Trials for Whistleblower Plaintiffs Under Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley

A recurring question under the federal whistleblower laws is whether plaintiffs suing their employers for retaliation have the right to a jury trial. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act1 appears...more

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