News & Analysis as of

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

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

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

Do Your Confidentiality and Employment Agreements Violate SEC Whistleblower Protection Rules?

As the SEC takes aim at whistleblower “pretaliation” (attempts to muzzle whistleblowers via confidentiality and other employment agreements—overt or otherwise) ethics and compliance officers need to take practical steps to...more

SEC Announces First Enforcement Action Involving Restrictive Language in Confidentiality Agreement under Dodd-Frank Whistleblower...

On April 1, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its first enforcement action involving restrictive language in an employee confidentiality agreement that it contends has “the potential to stifle the...more

March Whistleblower News Digest – Is Your Anti-Retaliation Compliance Training Program Ready?

I thought February was a jam-packed month for whistleblower-related news, but March had no shortage of whistleblower headlines. From the SEC kicking off the month with a hefty whistleblower award to OSHA issuing the final...more

What Successful Whistleblowers Have in Common

As required by the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC makes monetary awards to eligible individuals who voluntarily provide original information that leads to successful SEC enforcement actions resulting in monetary sanctions over $1...more

A Review of Recent Whistleblower Developments

• Fourth Circuit Applies Two-Year Statute of Limitations to SOX Whistleblower Claim and Confirms Availability of Emotional Distress Damages • SDNY Holds That SOX Protects Employee From Retaliation for Activity Engaged...more

Supreme Court Expands Whistleblower Protections

The Supreme Court has been showing a tendency towards increasing whistleblower protections. The most recent installment of this trend was a recently decided case in which the Court granted whistleblower status to an Air...more

SEC’s Limit on Retroactivity of Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Bounty Awards Is Reasonable, Second Circuit Holds

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently deferred to the SEC’s determination that a tipster who provided information to the Commission before July 21, 2010, the effective date of the Dodd-Frank Act, is not eligible to...more

The Financial Report - Volume 4, No. 6 • March 2015 (Global)

OSC Investor Advisory Panel annual report. The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) Investor Advisory Panel submitted its 2013-14 annual report. The report summarizes the Panel’s current activities and priorities as well...more

SEC Whistleblower Inquiry Raises Concerns About Protection of Confidential and Privileged Information

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, the SEC has launched an inquiry into whether corporations are using confidentiality agreements to prevent employees from communicating with the SEC about potential securities...more

SEC Awards $500K to Company Officer Whistleblower

On Monday, March 2, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it will award between $475,000 and $575,000 to a corporate officer who reported “high quality, original information” about a securities fraud....more

2nd Circuit Upholds SEC’s Denial of Whistleblower Award

Larry Stryker petitioned the Second Circuit for review of an order of the SEC that denied his claim for a whistleblower award. He sought the award under Section 21F of the Dodd-Frank Act based on information he supplied to...more

Labor Department issues procedures for handling SOX whistleblower complaints

The United States Department of Labor has issued a Final Rule regarding procedures for handling employee whistleblower retaliation claims under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and...more

Top Ten Ethics & Compliance Predictions and Recommendations for 2015

Get the inside track on the key ethics and compliance industry trends that will impact your business in 2015—and get the resources you need to help you plan for the year ahead—in our annual Top Ten Predictions and...more

Show Me The Money: Yes, Even Corporate Officers Can Collect Dodd-Frank Bounty Awards

On March 2, 2015, the SEC announced a whistleblower bounty award of between $475,000 and $575,000, its 15th under the Dodd-Frank whistleblower program. While the SEC’s order is scant on detail, it does disclose that the award...more

Three Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Anti-Retaliation Claims Fail

Courts recently issued three opinions on the whistleblower anti-retaliation provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act. In Murray v. UBS Securities, LLC, Mr. Murray claimed he was terminated because he refused to skew his...more

SEC Sweep on NDAs Restricting Whistleblowers

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the SEC is in the midst of a sweep to crack down on companies’ use of NDAs or employment agreements that might impede whistleblower reporting in violation of Dodd-Frank...more

SEC Continues to Investigate Contractual Impediments to Whistleblower Complaints

As Rachel Louise Ensign reported earlier this week in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) continues to probe obstacles to corporate employees blowing the whistle. This...more

Whistleblower Laws Increasingly Vital for Government Enforcement Efforts

In 2014, a crewman aboard a Japanese cargo ship videotaped the vessel illegally dumping oily waste into the ocean and later turned the tape over to the U.S. Coast Guard. One year later, the resulting $1.8 million penalty for...more

Another SEC Whistleblower Amicus Brief On Whether Dodd-Frank Covers Internal Complaints

On February 6, the SEC filed its third amicus brief defending its interpretive rule on Dodd-Frank’s anti-retaliation provision, 15 U.S.C. §78u-6(h)(1). The impetus is a ruling out of the Southern District of New York in...more

To Whom Must The Whistle Blow? SEC Asks Second Circuit for Deference on Scope of Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Protection

In an amicus brief filed earlier this month in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy LCC, the SEC asked the Second Circuit to defer to the Commission and hold that individuals who report misconduct internally are covered by the...more

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