Whistleblower Protection Policies

News & Analysis as of

Expanded Whistleblower Protections Impact Confidentiality Policies and Agreements

All employers should review their confidentiality policies and agreements to ensure adequate protections for whistleblowers in the wake of recent actions by both the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the National...more

OSHA Issues New Definition for Whistleblower Activity

In the past several months, we circulated several client alerts relative to a change in the definition of “whistleblower” and what constitutes a protected whistleblowing activity under Section 11(C) of the Occupational Safety...more

Proposed Legislation Could Punish Those Who Retaliate Against VA Whistleblowers

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has been the subject of controversy for much of the past year after a variety of whistleblowers exposed a nationwide problem of extremely long wait times for veterans needing treatment...more

OSHA Clarifies the Standard for Whistleblower Claims

On April 20, 2015, the Acting Director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) Whistleblower Protection Programs issued a memorandum to all Regional Administrators clarifying the standard which should be...more

Arizona's "Whistleblower" Laws: Tread Carefully

A “whistleblower” is someone who reports to management (or in some cases state and federal agencies) that they believe someone in their company is engaged in illegal conduct. There are numerous federal statutes that provide...more

Maine Law Court Weighs In Again on Whistleblower Claims

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court, acting as the Law Court, recently issued a decision reiterating the scope of protected activity under the Maine Whistleblowers’ Protection Act. The decision is a win for employers and...more

In Case You Missed It - Interesting Items for Corporate Counsel - May 2015

The SEC proposed pay for performance rules to implement Section 953(a) of Dodd-Frank, which requires disclosure of “information that shows the relationship between executive compensation actually paid and the financial...more

Employment Law Letter - Spring 2015

In this Issue: - Is a Volunteer an Employee For Discrimination Law Purposes? - Don’t Use “Just Cause” Except In Union Contracts - Are Courts Getting Tough On Disability Claims? - Legal Briefs and...more

Employers: 9 Provisions You Need in a Whistleblower Policy

A potential whistleblower need only run a quick Internet search to find many attorneys ready to take his or her case. Knowing this, employers need to be proactive: Any employer handbook or policy and procedures manual should...more

Whistle While You Work: SEC Announces First Retaliation Whistleblower Award

On June 16, 2014, the SEC issued its first-ever charge of whistleblower retaliation under section 922 of the Dodd-Frank Act, charging a hedge fund advisor and its owner with “engaging in prohibited principal transactions and...more

Has the SEC Become the "Whistleblower’s Advocate"?

The SEC Chair discusses the whistleblower program’s achievements and importance and how the agency will fight to ensure that whistleblowers continue to be heard....more

April Whistleblower News Digest | Consider Targeted Anti-Retaliation Training as part of Your Ethics and Compliance Training...

If April showers bring May flowers, then May is going to be a veritable hurricane of whistleblower-related fines (and also pollen). Our first three items come to us from the SEC, with awards and fines galore, most notably the...more

No “Pleasure” for Florida Whistleblower

Despite 14 pages of vigorous dissent, a majority of a three-judge panel of the Eleventh Circuit has done the right thing and joined the Fourth, Sixth and Ninth Circuits in holding that the National Bank Act (“NBA”) preempts...more

Whistleblowing: Meaning of "Public Interest" Test

What happened? The UK's whistleblowing legislation protects employees from being subjected to any detriment or dismissal that arises as a result of that employee making a "qualifying disclosure" of information to his...more

The Cost of Buying Silence – Non-disclosure Provisions Run Afoul of Federal Agencies

There’s an inherent tension in requiring an employee to sign an agreement restricting his or her ability to discuss activity in the workplace. On one hand, employers with confidential business practices and trade secrets need...more

Senate Approves Auto Industry Whistleblower Bill

Under the “Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Act” (the Bill), which the U.S. Senate approved on April 28, 2015, whistleblower protections and bounties would be available to individuals who report motor vehicle defects. In...more

OSHA’s Recent Guidance on Whistleblower Retaliation Investigations

The Directorate of Whistleblower Protection Programs recently issued a guidance memorandum titled “Clarification of the Investigative Standard for OSHA Whistleblower Investigations,” for the apparent purpose of clarifying the...more

SEC Invalidates Confidentiality Agreement for Stifling Whistleblowers

Protecting employee rights while also protecting the employer can be a balancing act, but a necessary one in order to maintain a successful and compliant business. One such challenge is maintaining data protection and...more

King Arthur Week – The Green Knight and the Protection of Whistleblowers – Part IV

We continue our King Arthur themed week with an exploration of one of the most interesting characters in the Arthur canon, The Green Knight, so called because his skin and clothes are green. The meaning of his greenness has...more

ARB Issues Impactful Decision On Whistleblower Retaliation Causation Standard

The ARB recently addressed the standard for proving that protected activity was a “contributing factor” in adverse employment actions. It concluded that evidence showing that an employer would have made the same adverse...more

SEC Applies Whistleblower Interference Rule to Corporate Confidentiality Requirement

On April 1, the US Securities and Exchange Commission issued—in a settled administrative proceeding—a cease-and-desist order in In the Matter of KBR, Inc., directing that the respondent cease violating Commission Rule...more

CFPB speaks (again) at PLI’s Annual Consumer Financial Services Institute

Key members of the CFPB’s enforcement, regulatory and supervision offices spoke yesterday at PLI’s 20th Annual Consumer Financial Services Institute in Chicago. As was the case during the New York City version which took...more

SEC Joins Agency Attack on Confidentiality Clauses in Employee-Related Agreements and Policies

In a recent enforcement action, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) took action against a company for "using improperly restrictive language in confidentiality agreements with the potential to stifle the...more

Proskauer Participates With Head of SEC Whistleblower Program in 4/22/15 Webinar

Proskauer Partner Connie N. Bertram, co-head of the Whistleblowing & Retaliation Practice, participated in a webinar last week with Sean McKessy, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower. The webinar, sponsored by the...more

Confidentiality Clauses Under Increasing Scrutiny by Federal Agencies

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has become the latest federal agency to challenge the legality of employee confidentiality requirements. Earlier this month, the SEC instituted its first administrative proceeding...more

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