Whistleblower Protection Policies

News & Analysis as of

2016’s Top Patent and Trade Secret Developments for Chemistry and Nanotechnology

While 2016 saw several significant IP developments regarding the USPTO claim construction standard and the standard of review of USPTO decisions, the following three developments may have the greatest impact on how in-house...more

Florida Whistleblower Act Requires Showing of Actual Violation, Federal Court Rules

Florida’s private-sector Whistleblower Act (“FWA”) protects only those employees who can show an actual violation of a law, rule, or regulation, a federal district court has held. Graddy v. Wal-Mart Stores East, LP, No....more

Revenge of the Whistle-blower: Possible Consequences of Compliance Failures

In a company with a robust compliance culture, potential whistleblowers can express their concerns without fear of retribution. By contrast, the penalty for a culture that silences whistleblowers just got steeper. Companies...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

Federal Whistleblower Laws Collide With The Attorney-Client Privilege: The Bio-Rad Case Study

Seyfarth Synopsis: Federal whistleblower laws collide with the in-house attorney-client privilege. The trial round goes to the whistleblower. The expected appellate round has still not been fought. In a February 7,...more

A Primer on “Cross-Referencing” the DTSA Whistleblower Immunity Provision Following 4 Simple Steps

In the spring of 2016, the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA” or “Act”) was signed into law providing trade secret owners for the first time a federal civil cause of action for trade secret misappropriation. Although the DTSA...more

The SEC Expands Enforcement Program Based Upon Standard Corporate Separation Agreements

We have alerted you on two prior occasions regarding the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) imposing substantial fines and other penalties based solely on “boilerplate” language commonly found in corporate severance...more

"Trump Expected to Alter Labor Laws, Policies"

Editor’s note: This article was updated on February 1, 2017, to reflect new developments. While President Donald Trump has not discussed in detail how he plans to address labor and employment issues, he likely will...more

Proskauer To Present On Whistleblower Developments At ABA Midwinter Meeting

On February 24, 2017 at 10:30 am, Proskauer Partner Connie Bertram will speak on “Whistleblower Provisions of Sarbanes Oxley” at the American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law’s Federal Labor Standards...more

US Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Enforcement Division Issues Advisories on Cooperation

The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Enforcement issued two new Enforcement Advisories outlining the factors the Enforcement Division will consider in evaluating cooperation by individuals and companies...more

Employment Law Commentary - Volume 29, Issue 1

The Cost Of Keeping Things Quiet: Crackdown On Confidentiality Clauses Calls For Explicit Carve-Outs - In last February’s Employment Law Commentary, we discussed best practices for drafting separation agreements. Among...more

UK Financial Services Whistleblowing Regulation Survey: Assessing The Impact Of The FCA/PRA Senior Managers Regime Whistleblowing...

NAVEX Global partnered with an independent research firm to survey compliance professionals from the UK Financial Services industry about their approach to whistleblowing and incident reporting. Our findings provide insight...more

Gavel to Gavel: Trade secrets now a federal case

Almost all businesses possess at least some trade secrets, which could include a wide variety of information, including customer lists, formulas, manufacturing processes, data compilations, marketing plans and many other...more

Proskauer Represents Employer Against Former Executive Found Liable for Snooping on Boss’s and Others’ Emails

A former employee of the upscale outdoor furniture designer and manufacturer Brown Jordan recently failed in his bid to pursue whistleblower retaliation claims against the company and also found himself liable for snooping on...more

2016 Year-End Securities Litigation and Enforcement Highlights

Welcome to the 2016 Year-End Report from the BakerHostetler Securities Litigation and Regulatory Enforcement Practice Team. The purpose of this Report is to provide a periodic survey, apart from our team Executive...more

Amtrak Employee Reinstated Following Retaliation for Whistleblowing

A former employee of the National Railroad Passenger Corp. (“Amtrak”) was recently awarded a $892,551 settlement and was reinstated as an Amtrak employee, following an order from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational...more

Executive and Judiciary Showdown over the Whistleblower Protection Act

The new administration’s recent decree that certain federal agencies refrain from communications with the media sets up a showdown between the executive and judicial branches of government. ...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

Whistle While You Work?: First Court To Rule On DTSA’s Whistleblower Immunity Provision Treats It As An Affirmative Defense

The Defend Trade Secret Act (“DTSA”) contains a whistleblower immunity provision which could have a significant impact on employers. Until last month, however, no court had interpreted this provision which provides that no...more

Top 10 SEC Enforcement Highlights of 2016

This is the third year we are providing our annual Top Ten list of Enforcement Highlights. This time, it occurs towards the end of the tenure of SEC Chair Mary Jo White. Sullivan & Cromwell corporate securities and capital...more

Did you know... Are You in Position to Take Advantage of the New Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act?

Recently, President Obama signed into law the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA) which amends the Economic Espionage Act of 1996, codified at 18 U.S.C. §§ 1831 et seq. Key benefits of the DTSA includes the option...more

Five Workplace New Year’s Resolutions for 2017

With the New Year comes the annual tradition of making New Year’s Resolutions—along with the annual tradition of breaking those resolutions by the second week of January. Even if last year’s Christmas tree survived longer...more

SEC Continues Crackdown on Employer Whistleblower Restrictions

Takeaways: - SEC is targeting contract terms that appear to restrict contact with the SEC or require employee whistleblowers to waive monetary recoveries. - Express disclosure of these rights in severance...more

OSHA’s Advisory Guidance on Anti-Retaliation Programs

On January 13, 2017, OSHA published the Recommended Practices for Anti-Retaliation Programs. OSHA’s guidance provides examples and suggestions of steps companies can take to implement an effective anti-retaliation program. ...more

OSHA Procedures for Retaliation Complaints Under the Affordable Care Act Await New Administration

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Affordable Care Act faces an uncertain future under the Trump administration, which will affect whistleblower provisions enforced by OSHA. In October 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health...more

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