Whistleblowers

News & Analysis as of

Five Key Issues Confronting Financial Services Industry Employers

Employers in the financial services industry are faced with a growing number of employment law challenges. Whistleblower complaints are on the rise as regulatory agencies become more aggressive in their efforts to encourage...more

SEC Applies Whistleblower Protections to Confidentiality Arrangements

Public companies should review their confidentiality arrangements for any provisions that may result in unintended violations of the Dodd-Frank Act’s whistleblower protections....more

SEC Targets Confidentiality Agreements That Stifle Whistle-Blowing

On April 1, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced its first enforcement action and settlement against a company for violations of the whistleblower protection provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act...more

SEC Assault on Employee Confidentiality Agreements

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced an enforcement action against KBR, Inc., alleging that a form of confidentiality agreement used in internal investigations violated an SEC whistleblower rule. To...more

SEC Blows the Whistle on Confidentiality Agreements

Thanks to a recent enforcement action brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), it may be time to review and revise the confidentiality provisions in employment agreements, severance agreements, employee...more

Whistleblowing - EAT Considers the "Public Interest" Test

In Chesterton Global Limited and anor v Nurmohamed the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) has considered for the first time the public interest test introduced into the UK’s whistleblowing legislation in 2013....more

Washington Jury Awards “Perceived” Whistleblower $1 Million

In a jury verdict issued on March 26, 2015, a supervisor for the nation’s largest ferry system was awarded $1 million because the jury concluded that his employer demoted him as an act of retaliation in violation of the...more

Illinois Appellate Court Affirms Dismissal of State Tax Qui Tam Lawsuit

On March 31, 2015, the Illinois Appellate Court issued an Opinion affirming the dismissal of a qui tam lawsuit filed by a law firm acting as a whistleblower (Relator law firm) on behalf of the State of Illinois against QVC,...more

Implied Rights in Whistleblower Policies: What DC’s Latest Ruling Means for Employers

On March 18, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled on a motion to dismiss in a case that will have potentially serious consequences for D.C. employers that include written whistleblower and other...more

U.S. Department of Labor Hands Down Final Ruling on SOX Whistleblower Processes

On March 5, the U.S. Department of Labor gave its Final Rule in a case dealing with the types of procedures that govern the handling of retaliation complaints under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). The Final Rule indicates that...more

UK Update - Whistleblowing: When is a disclosure made in the public interest?

In Chestertons –v– Nurmohamed, the Employment Appeal Tribunal has given the first appellate guidance on when a worker’s disclosure is made in the public interest, so as to attract whistleblower protection....more

Petition Urges DOL To Target Contractual Clauses Discouraging Whistleblowing

The Government Accountability Project (GAP) and Zuckerman Law recently petitioned the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) to issue rules and guidance prohibiting “de facto” gag clauses in settlement and severance agreements that...more

UK Update - Whistleblowing: When is a disclosure made in the public interest?

In Chestertons –v– Nurmohamed, the Employment Appeal Tribunal has given the first appellate guidance on when a worker’s disclosure is made in the public interest, so as to attract whistleblower protection....more

Three Thoughts about the SEC’s First “Pretaliation” Case

I was on a flight last Wednesday when the SEC released the first of what whistleblower chief Sean McKessy has dubbed “pretaliation” cases against KBR, Inc. When I landed I had several emails from colleagues, asking, “Did you...more

Increased Governmental Scrutiny for Employee Confidentiality Restrictions

Employers should be aware of recent federal agency activity that may require modifications to employee confidentiality agreements. The federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a press release on April 1, 2015,...more

Employer’s confidentiality agreement triggers SEC action and penalty - review and revise agreements now

Consistent with its prior announcements that it will protect and encourage whistleblowers, the SEC recently announced its “first enforcement action” against a company for using allegedly restrictive language in an agreement...more

The SEC is Taking a Closer Look at Confidentiality Agreements to Ensure Potential Whistleblowers Not Restrained

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced on April 1, 2015 that it was instituting enforcement proceedings relating to the whistleblower provisions of the 2010 Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: SEC Sends Clear Message - Companies Cannot Restrict Whistleblowers Via Employee Confidentiality Agreements

On April 1, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its first enforcement action against a company for using improperly restrictive language in employee confidentiality agreements, noting that such limits...more

Could The SEC Ask Airlines To Produce Data On Delayed And Canceled Flights?

The following story is fiction.   It was imagined following the SEC’s recently settled action against KBR, Inc. Airlines were caught completely off guard yesterday by SEC letters asking that they produce five years of...more

Is Your Confidentiality Agreement a Ticking Time Bomb? SEC’s First Action Over Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Protections Targets...

For the first time in the nearly five years since Dodd-Frank went into effect, the SEC last week took action against a company over concerns that the company was preventing its employees from potentially blowing the whistle...more

SEC Brings First Action Against Company for Potentially Stifling Whistleblowers With Confidentiality Statement

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently charged KBR, Inc., a Delaware corporation specializing in technology and engineering, with a Rule 21F-17(a) violation for using language in employee confidentiality statements...more

SEC Message to Government Contractors: Don't Limit Whistleblowing

On April 1, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) settled its first enforcement action against a company for violating whistleblower protections by including restrictive language in confidentiality agreements used in...more

Carefully Draft NDAs to Avoid Whistleblower Concerns

In light of the SEC’s first enforcement action against a company for impeding whistleblower activity in violation of Rule 21F-17, employers may wish to consider clarifying in their agreements, policies and practices that...more

Reed Smith's Government Contracts Weekly Rundown - April 2015

Here is a rundown of last week’s top developments related to government contracts to get you back on track and ready for this week....more

Successful Rule 9(b) Defense of False Claims Act Whistleblower Litigation

The lure of significant monetary awards continues to stimulate high-risk whistleblower actions under the False Claims Act (FCA), and these claims are increasingly common in the pharmaceutical and medical device industry. The...more

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