Securities & Exchange Commission Whistleblowers

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission was created in 1934 in response to the Great Stock Market Crash of 1929. The Commission was created to protect investors, ensure fairness in the market, and... more +
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission was created in 1934 in response to the Great Stock Market Crash of 1929. The Commission was created to protect investors, ensure fairness in the market, and encourage capital formation. The Commission is headed by five presidentially-appointed Commissioners who oversee the Commission’s five divisions: Division of Corporation Finance, Division of Trading and Markets, Division of Enforcement, Division of Investment Management, and the Division of Risk, Strategy and Financial Information.  less -
News & Analysis as of

OSHA Increases Scrutiny of Whistleblower Settlement Agreements

Following the SEC’s lead, OSHA recently announced new guidelines that it will consider when deciding whether to approve settlement agreements reached during OSHA investigations of whistleblower claims....more

DOL Joins SEC in Attack on Severance Agreement Clauses

Companies cannot prohibit their former employees from collecting whistleblower awards, says the DOL in a recently released memo. Moreover, even asking employees to disclaim any knowledge of any legal violations by the...more

It’s Not Just the Response, It’s the Disclosure: SEC Charges Against a Company and Its General Counsel Highlight Importance of...

A recent complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission highlights some important considerations for companies and in-house counsel facing False Claims Act investigations. The action is SEC v. RPM International...more

OSHA Addresses Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Releases

We have written about SEC enforcement actions related to severance and confidentiality agreements that restrict reporting matters to the SEC. OSHA has also issued guidance regarding settlement agreements with whistleblowers...more

SEC Issues Another Multi-Million Dollar Whistleblower Award

Less than one month after issuing a $22 million award, the SEC issued another multi-million dollar whistleblower award on September 20, 2016. The SEC’s most recent award exceeded $4 million. The SEC issued its typical...more

OSHA Joins the SEC in Attacking Confidentiality and Other Provisions in Private Settlement Agreements

On September 15, 2016, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released new policy guidelines for its review of private settlement agreements presented to the agency for approval in whistleblowing...more

OSHA Issues New Guidance Regarding Whistleblower Settlements

OSHA has issued new guidance on approving settlement agreements in whistleblower cases, revising portions of its Whistleblower Investigations Manual. The guidance, dated August 23 but not released until September 15, states...more

Top Ten International Anti-Corruption Developments for August 2016

In order to provide an overview for busy in-house counsel and compliance professionals, we summarize below some of the most important international anti-corruption developments from the past month, with links to primary...more

SEC Takes Aim at Anti-Whistleblower Employment Agreements

On Aug. 15, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued its second fine in six days to an employer for drafting severance agreements that restricted former employees from collecting awards as whistleblowers. The fines...more

Bounty-ful Pay Day and Former SEC Whistleblower Chief’s Move To Plaintiff’s Firm May Lead to Whistleblower Claim Increase

Two recent events may spur a rise in the number of high quality whistleblower tips filed with the SEC. First, on August 30, 2016, the SEC announced that it had awarded a $22.4 million bounty to a former Monsanto financial...more

CFTC Proposes Rules to Align with SEC Whistleblower Program

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) proposed amendments last month to the regulations governing its whistleblower bounty program. A number of the changes are aimed at more closely aligning the CFTC’s...more

SEC Continues Crackdown on Severance Agreements

Why it matters - The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) continued its efforts against anti-whistleblowing provisions in severance agreements, fining one employer $265,000 for the use of an allegedly illegal clause....more

SEC Fines Company for Agreements Restricting Whistleblowers

The SEC has fined an Atlanta company $265,000 for using various severance agreements restricting whistleblower activities. The Dodd-Frank Act added ’34 Act § 21F encouraging whistleblower programs. The SEC adopted Rule...more

SEC Fines Another Company for Using Severance Agreements that Chill Whistleblowing

In short order, the Securities and Exchange Commission fined two companies for using severance agreements with former employees that hampered the SEC’s whistleblower program. We covered the first instance, in which the SEC...more

CFTC Proposes Amendments to Whistleblower Awards Process and Anti-Retaliation Authority

The amendments would make the CFTC’s whistleblower awards process more uniform with the SEC’s program and would enable the CFTC to bring enforcement actions against employers that retaliate against whistleblowers....more

CFTC Proposes New Amendments to its Whistleblower Rules

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC” or the “Commission”) has proposed numerous amendments to the Whistleblower Rules found in Part 165 of the CFTC’s Regulations. The Commission seeks to enhance the process...more

SEC Whistleblower Awards Reach $100 Million Milestone

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced this week that awards from its whistleblower program had surpassed $100 million—thanks to a $22 million award announced the same day. That award was the largest since the...more

Commodity Whistleblowers May Hit the Jackpot: Enhanced Bounty Rules in the Works

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) is proposing amendments to its Dodd-Frank whistleblower regulations to bring them more in line with the SEC’s whistleblower bounty program. This is perhaps not surprising...more

SEC Issues $22 Million Whistleblower Award

On August 30, 2016, the SEC issued a $22 million whistleblower bounty award to an individual “whose detailed tip and extensive assistance helped the agency halt a well-hidden fraud” at the whistleblower’s employer. The Acting...more

SEC Awards Culpable Whistleblower $22 Million

The SEC announced the award of more than $22 million to a whistleblower whose detailed tip and extensive assistance helped the agency halt a well-hidden fraud at the company where the whistleblower worked. The $22...more

Your daily dose of financial news - The Brief – 8.31.16

Continual rejections worked for Hershey in fending off Mondelez’s takeover bid. The Deal Professor thinks that Tronc faces considerable risks in following the same strategy with Gannett’s repeated overtures....more

Recent SEC Enforcement Actions Prompt Consideration of Whistleblower Carve-outs

The recent settlement of SEC enforcement actions concerning the Dodd Frank Act’s whistleblower provisions are prompting companies and their counsels to evaluate current and prospective severance and confidentiality agreements...more

Corporate E-Note - August 2016

In a “Table of Experts” series published on July 15, 2016 by the Birmingham Business Journal, Ed Christian provides his insight into a series of questions related to mergers and acquisitions. Please see full E-note below...more

Employment Law - August 2016

Arbitrator or Judge? California Supreme Court Weighs in - Why it matters - Yet again, the California Supreme Court considered arbitration in the context of an employment agreement, this time reflecting on whether a...more

Time to Review Your Severance Agreements

In August 2016, the SEC issued cease-and-desist orders against two different companies for using severance agreements which required exiting employees to waive their ability to obtain monetary awards under the SEC’s...more

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