Whistleblowers

News & Analysis as of

USDOL Recruits Whistleblowers for Misclassification Claims: Will Gig Workers Even Notice?

The United States Department of Labor (USDOL) recently revised its wage and hour poster to include information on the misclassification of workers as independent contractors. As noted in our previous legal alert on this...more

False Claims that Don’t Violate the False Claims Act

A recent Fourth Circuit decision answers this riddle, “How can a contractor knowingly submit a false claim to the government without violating the False Claims Act (FCA)?” Give up? The answer is blindingly obvious—once...more

OSHA Increases Scrutiny of Whistleblower Settlement Agreements

Following the SEC’s lead, OSHA recently announced new guidelines that it will consider when deciding whether to approve settlement agreements reached during OSHA investigations of whistleblower claims....more

DOL Joins SEC in Attack on Severance Agreement Clauses

Companies cannot prohibit their former employees from collecting whistleblower awards, says the DOL in a recently released memo. Moreover, even asking employees to disclaim any knowledge of any legal violations by the...more

It’s Not Just the Response, It’s the Disclosure: SEC Charges Against a Company and Its General Counsel Highlight Importance of...

A recent complaint filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission highlights some important considerations for companies and in-house counsel facing False Claims Act investigations. The action is SEC v. RPM International...more

SDNY Refuses to Dismiss Executive’s Dodd-Frank Retaliation Claim

On August 24, 2016, the Southern District of New York denied Defendants’ motion to dismiss a Dodd-Frank whistleblower retaliation claim brought by its former co-CEO and Executive Chairman of its Board of Directors, finding...more

OSHA Addresses Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Releases

We have written about SEC enforcement actions related to severance and confidentiality agreements that restrict reporting matters to the SEC. OSHA has also issued guidance regarding settlement agreements with whistleblowers...more

E.D. Wisconsin: SOX Does Not Protect Whistleblower Complaints Based On Immaterial, Routine Events

On August 25, 2016, the Eastern District of Wisconsin granted the Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment on its former CEO’s SOX whistleblower claim. The court ruled that Plaintiff’s complaint to the Board of Directors did...more

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

The False Claims Act’s Anti-Retaliation Provision Protects Employees Who Engage in Efforts to Stop Violations By Their...

In Carlson v. DynCorp, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit addressed 2009 and 2010 amendments to the False Claims Act (“FCA”) that broadened the scope of its anti-retaliation protection for...more

7th Cir. Demands Objective Standards in Whistleblower Complaint

On September 1 the Seventh Circuit affirmed dismissal of three of a whistleblower’s four fraud allegations against a mental health clinic, ruling that the allegations were based on the whistleblower’s subjective judgment...more

Trade Secrets: Changes In The Law On Protection Of Trade Secrets In The United States And European Union

Concerns about trade secret theft have been increasing in both the United States and Europe in recent years. Traditionally, American law disfavored trade secret protection vis à vis patenting on the basis that publication of...more

Strangest Regulatory Interpretation of the Month

The Massachusetts federal district court is hands-down winner of the August award for strangest regulatory interpretation of the month. The interpretation came in the context of denial of Omnicare’s summary judgment...more

SDNY Awards Front Pay in Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Retaliation Case

Perez v. Progenics Pharmaceuticals, Inc., involved a case where Plaintiff Perez drafted a memo to Progenics’ general counsel and his department head, accusing Progenics of committing fraud by publishing a false press release...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

Top Ten International Anti-Corruption Developments for August 2016

In order to provide an overview for busy in-house counsel and compliance professionals, we summarize below some of the most important international anti-corruption developments from the past month, with links to primary...more

Congress Releases Unclassified Summary on Snowden/NSA Leak

On September 15, 2016, the House of Representatives’ Intelligence Committee released its summary findings of a two-year investigation concerning the unauthorized disclosures made by former National Security Agency (NSA)...more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review

Financial Industry Developments - Agencies Publish Study on Banking Activities and Investments under Dodd-Frank - On September 8, 2016, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance...more

SEC Takes Aim at Anti-Whistleblower Employment Agreements

On Aug. 15, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued its second fine in six days to an employer for drafting severance agreements that restricted former employees from collecting awards as whistleblowers. The fines...more

Investment Funds Update - Europe - Legal and regulatory updates for the funds industry from the key asset management centres and...

BaFin Plans to Prohibit Retail Distribution of Credit-Linked Notes - BaFin announced on its website that the regulator intends to prohibit the marketing, distribution and sale of credit-linked notes...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

Seventh Circuit Clarifies “Heightened” Pleading Standard for Fraud Claims under the False Claims Act

A recent decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit addressed the standard that courts should use to decide whether a whistleblower plaintiff has adequately pleaded that a defendant committed fraud...more

CFTC Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Whistleblower Rule Amendments

On September 1, 2016, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) announced that it is “requesting public comment on proposed amendments to the Whistleblower Rules found in Part 165 of the CFTC’s regulations.” The...more

CFTC Proposes Rules to Align with SEC Whistleblower Program

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) proposed amendments last month to the regulations governing its whistleblower bounty program. A number of the changes are aimed at more closely aligning the CFTC’s...more

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