Whistleblower Awards

News & Analysis as of

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

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

OSC’s Recently Launched Whistleblower Program: A Walkthrough

As it officially opened its Office of the Whistleblower, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) also unveiled the final version of OSC Policy 15-601 – Whistleblower Program (Policy), which provides the framework for the...more

Bridging the Week - September 2016

NFA Proposes Requiring CTAs and CPOs to File Certain Financial Ratio Information: The National Futures Association submitted to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for its approval a new requirement that would mandate...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

In the two weeks spanning the Labor Day weekend, the Commission continued bring cases arising from its inspection program. Two new actions alleging inadequate procedures regarding the disclosure of additional trading away...more

The SEC Continues to Limit Language in Employment-Related Contracts

In orders issued just six days apart last month, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rejected language in severance agreements requiring employees to waive rights to receive additional monetary recovery,...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

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

Is This The SEC Or The Lotto?

Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission trumpeted that whistleblower awards have now exceeded $100 million, or a million Benjamins!...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

Tax Court Broadens the Definition of “Collected Proceeds” – Result: Seventeen Million Dollar Award for Tax Fraud Whistleblowers

The nation’s top tax court recently broadened the definition of “collected proceeds” to include payments of criminal fines and civil forfeitures, which could result in increased awards for tax fraud whistleblowers. This...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

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

You May Not Stack the Deck: SEC Announces Penalties Against Companies Requiring Employees to Waive Whistleblower Protections to...

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) recently announced that two companies agreed to pay penalties of more than $500,000, combined, for illegally requiring employees to waive their rights to monetary awards from the...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

Update: Another SEC Enforcement Action on Whistleblower Waivers and Releases

Summary - Earlier this month, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its second significant enforcement action against an employer based on confidentiality and release provisions that the SEC asserts...more

SEC Targets Employment Agreements Requiring Waiver of Whistleblower Awards

The SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower continues to examine employee severance, settlement and confidentiality agreements for language that might chill reporting of securities violations to the SEC and other regulators. The...more

Public Companies to Revise Employee Confidentiality and Severance Provisions

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued two Cease and Desist Orders that dramatically change the landscape for employee contractual confidentiality provisions, as well as for employee waiver and release...more

Standard Severance Agreements May Need to Be Revised

Many employers offer severance agreements to departing employees which, at least in part, are designed to protect the employer from disclosures of confidential information and from any future claims or recovery by the...more

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

Redux - federal agencies attack employment agreements, and what you can do about it: 8 steps to consider

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” - Reading advance sheets often brings the closing line from The Great Gatsby to mind.  Our alert from April 2015 is being rerun in full...more

SEC Continues to Target Employer Agreements Restricting Whistleblower Rights

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or the “Commission”) recently announced the settlement of two cease-and-desist proceedings against employers alleged to have unlawfully restricted employees’ rights to engage...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

An investment banker who repeatedly tipped his father on about pending mergers was found guilty of insider trading by a jury this week. The Commission brought another action based on the whistleblower protections where the...more

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