News & Analysis as of

Higher burdens in SOX whistleblower retaliation claims - 5 tips for employers

Two recent decisions have clarified the heightened burden facing employers addressing whistleblower retaliation claims under Section 806 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). On October 9, 2014, in Fordham v. Fannie Mae,...more

Safeguarding a Whistleblower’s Identity

Everyone knows that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act prohibits retaliation against whistleblowers. It may be less obvious, however, that merely disclosing a whistleblower’s identity can constitute prohibited retaliation. ...more

Safeguarding a Whistleblower’s Identity

Everyone knows that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act prohibits retaliation against whistleblowers. It may be less obvious, however, that merely disclosing a whistleblower’s identity can constitute prohibited retaliation. Nevertheless,...more

Fifth Circuit Finds SOX Violation in Disclosure of Whistleblower’s Identity

The Fifth Circuit affirms the DOL Administrative Review Board’s decision that employer disclosure of a whistleblower’s identity in a document retention notice constitutes an adverse action....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

Lights Out for a 401(k) Investment Fund? Don't Forget the Blackout Notice Rules.

One of your company’s 401(k) investment fund options is underperforming. Or, perhaps the fund is no longer appropriate for your employees. Or, perhaps a fund’s wildly successful fund manager has jumped ship to another fund...more

Seminal Decision Could Make it Harder for Publicly Traded Employers to Defeat Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Claims

Long awaited in Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) whistleblower circles, on October 9, 2014 the U. S. Department of Labor's Administrative Review Board (ARB) issued a split 2-1 panel decision in Fordham v. Fannie Mae, ARB No. 12-061,...more

Preserving Some “Bite”: The Fourth Circuit Approves Summary Judgment for Employer in a SOX Retaliation Case

As we have discussed in earlier posts, the recent trend in court decisions under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) has been to lighten the burden on complainants and to expand the universe of cases that proceed to decisions on the...more

OSHA Releases Interim Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Regulations

OSHA recently released the interim final text of regulations implementing the whistleblower protection provision (Section 1057) in Dodd-Frank. The interim final regulations establish the timing and processes for handling...more

Transferring Confidential Data to IRS Earns SOX Protection for Whistleblower

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL, in Vannoy v. Celanese Corporation, recently ruled in favor of a whistleblower who claimed retaliation after taking sensitive information from his employer and giving it to the Internal...more

The SEC Whistleblower Program

On Oct. 1, 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it had awarded more than $14 million to an unidentified whistleblower who provided information leading to a successful enforcement action — by far...more

SOX Protections for Employees of Public Companies’ Contractors and Subcontractors

The U.S. Supreme Court extends Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower protections, but the reach of the decision may be curtailed by “limiting principles” referenced by the Court....more

SOX Un-Boxed

Prepare for DOL whistleblower litigation. The Supreme Court has ruled on the scope of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act whistleblower provision. According to SCOTUS, SOX allows any employee to bring a whistleblower complaint, so long...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rules Employees of Private Companies May Bring Claims for Whistleblower Retaliation Under Sarbanes-Oxley

Yesterday, in an opinion issued in Lawson v. FMR LLC, Case No. 12-3, the United States Supreme Court held that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 provides whistleblower protections for employees of private contractors performing...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

Whistleblowers Can Now File Complaints Online With OSHA

Whistleblowers covered by one of 22 statutes (including Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank) administered by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration will now be able to file complaints online. ...more

Texas Federal Court Gives SOX Whistleblower Another Big Bite At The Apple

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas recently ruled that a plaintiff had the right to a de novo review of her SOX whistleblower claims in federal district court even though she had already participated...more

Whistleblowers Blow their Whistles While They Work

The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Pilgrim Pride Corp. reached a $50,000 settlement in a 2012 whistleblower case. The case began when a manager for water reclamation at...more

Tenth Circuit Broadens Whistleblower Protection Under SOX

In a recent decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit broadened the types of claims that may be recognized under the anti-retaliation provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Lockheed Martin Corp. v....more

ARB Says Equitable Modification of SOX Statute of Limitations Saves Untimely Complaint

On March 29, 2013, the Department of Labor’s Administrative Review Board (“ARB”) ruled that a “standstill” agreement between an employer and employee that required both parties to provide notice before initiating legal...more

Third Circuit Adopts New Broader Standard for Defining Protected Activity for Whistleblowers

The roller coaster continues for how to define protected activity under the Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX). In a recent decision that signifies a major setback for employers, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit...more

Third Circuit Lowers Bar For Determining Whether Internal Complaint Is SOX Protected Activity

In Wiest v. Lynch, No. 11-cv-4257, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 5345 (3d Cir. March 19, 2013), the Third Circuit gave Chevron deference to U.S. Department of Labor Administrative Review Board’s (ARB) interpretation of “protected...more

Second Circuit “Clarifies” SOX Burden-Shifting Framework

On March 5, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit “clarified” the burden-shifting framework for whistleblower claims brought under Section 806 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (“SOX”), 18 U.S.C. § 1514A....more

District of Idaho: Federal District Courts Lack Jurisdiction to Enforce Preliminary Reinstatement Order

The stakes increase and the landscape changes tremendously in a whistleblower case when the Secretary of Labor (Secretary) issues a preliminary reinstatement order....more

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