Whistleblowers

News & Analysis as of

OSHA Tests New Program to Expedite Whistleblower Claims

In an effort to speed up claims under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Whistleblower Protection Program, the Labor Department’s San Francisco region has launched a new process, called the “Expedited Case...more

Whistleblower’s Claim Survives Dismissal and Death

The Energizer Bunny has nothing on the whistleblower claim of Robert Cunningham. Here’s what’s happened since Robert files his qui tam action against Millennium Labs back in 2009: the government declined to intervene; seven...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

Financial Services Weekly News - August 2016 #4

Editor's Note - Friend the Fed! As is the case every August, our federal government and regulators are hard at work, laser focused on the important issues of the day. In this regard, on August 18, the Federal Reserve...more

False Claims Act Cases: With No End In Sight, Why You Should Consider Litigating And How To Maximize Your Litigation Advantages

Over the past few years, the government’s emphasis on conducting fraud and abuse investigations – especially in the healthcare industry – has resulted in scores of settlements and billions of dollars paid to the government...more

OSHA Pilots New Expedited Whistleblower Process – Will Allow Complainants to Request Judicial Review

Seyfarth Synopsis: The DOL announced this week its new Whistleblower expedited Case review pilot process, to be conducted in its Region 9. Employers in this region may now anticipate even more cases going to the ALJ’s, and...more

How the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 Affects Employers and What You Need To Do Now

Almost all employers have information that they consider confidential and/or trade secrets, such as strategic plans for their business, financial information, research and development efforts, certain customer information...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

OSHA Launches “Expedited Case Processing Pilot” For Whistleblower Claims

On August 1, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) launched a new pilot program, titled “Expedited Case Processing Pilot,” in its Western region. The program enables a complainant filing claims under whistleblower...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

SEC Takes Aim at Anti-Whistleblower Employment Agreements

On August 15, 2016, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued its second fine in six days to a health insurer for allegedly creating severance agreements that illegally restrict former employees from collecting...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

Financial Services Weekly News - August 2016 #3

Editor's Note - MetLife Fights On. MetLife continued to fight its designation as a nonbank systemically important financial institution (SIFI) this week as the insurer filed its reply brief in the Financial Stability...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

Emerging Labor & Employment Law Trends (Part 1)

With summer 2016 almost behind us, employers should begin to plan for the major labor and employment law trends expected to emerge in the final quarter of the year and into 2017. In the first part of this two-part series, we...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

Drug Companies and Charitable Patient Foundations

Charitable organizations can easily become enmeshed in Justice Department enforcement issues. We have seen charities used in FCPA cases as a means to funnel bribes to government officials, spouses or family members....more

Life in the Fast Lane: New OSHA Pilot Program Offers Expedited Review of Whistleblower Complaints

OSHA’s San Francisco region, which includes California, Nevada, and Arizona, launched a new pilot program on August 1, 2016 that would allow complainants, under certain circumstances, to ask OSHA to cease its investigation...more

Your daily dose of financial news - The Brief – 8.19.16

The Journal reports that big companies [banks included] are pouring more into dividends than at “any time since the financial crisis”—likely, a response to record-low bond yields that’s “put a premium” on kicking back...more

Employment Matters – UK

When Do the ‘Self-Employed’ Qualify for National Minimum Wage and Holiday Pay? This is a hot topic at the moment with three large employers under scrutiny for their pay structures: Uber, the transport company, has...more

SEC Enforcement Actions May Require Changes to Severance Agreements

Public companies should revisit their template severance agreements, in light of two recent orders by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Standard severance clauses covering (1) confidential information and (2)...more

How Much Is A Whistleblower Waiver Really Worth?

The Securities and Exchange Commission is aggressively interpreting and enforcing its rule against impeding whistleblowers. Rule 21F-17(a) provides...more

SEC Continues Crackdown on Whistleblower Restrictions: Calls Qui Tam Waivers "Targeting"

The SEC announced its second enforcement action in a week against a company using severance or confidentiality agreements requiring employees to waive whistleblower bounties or their right to bring a qui tam action....more

SEC Settlements Put Severance Agreements Under Increased Scrutiny

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently announced settlements with two companies for using severance agreements that allegedly violated Rule 21F-17. Rule 21F-17 provides that “[n]o person may take any action...more

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