Whistleblowers Protected Activity

News & Analysis as of

ARB Rejects CFPA Whistleblower Claim On Protected Activity Grounds

On November 6, 2015, the DOL’s Administrative Review Board affirmed the dismissal of Consumer Financial Protection Act (“CFPA”) whistleblower claims of a terminated mortgage broker, concluding that the complainant did not...more

N.D. Ill. Expands Definition of Protected Activity Under Ill. Whistleblower Act

On October 29, 2015, the Northern District of Illinois concluded that an employee who called police regarding suspected shoplifting—in violation of company policy—succeeded in proving a claim under the Illinois Whistleblower...more

Divided Sixth Circuit Dismisses Compliance Officer’s FCA Whistleblower Retaliation Claim

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected a former compliance officer’s whistleblower retaliation claim because she did not establish that she had an objectively reasonable belief that she was...more

Cal. App. Court Finds in Favor of Whistleblower Who Never Complained of Unlawful Conduct by the Employer

In Cardenas v. M. Fanaian, D.D.S., Inc., Case No. F069305 (Cal. App. 5 Dist.), a California Court of Appeal determined that Plaintiff Cardenas could pursue a California Labor Code Section 1102.5 retaliation claim against her...more

California Enacts a Raft of New Employment Legislation

The latest legislative session has just ended, and, true to form, the California Legislature has added more than a dozen new laws affecting employers doing business in the nation’s largest state.  These statutes are in...more

ARB Rules That Secret Recording of Workplace Conversations Can Be Protected Whistleblowing Activity

On September 28, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor Administrative Review Board (“ARB”) held that the recording of workplace conversations can be protected whistleblower activity under the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974...more

California Court Approves Retaliation Protection For Private Police Report

The California Court of Appeal held last week in Cardenas v. M. Fanaian, D.D.S., Inc. that retaliation claims under California Labor Code § 1102.5 need not be based on a report of employer wrongdoing or promote a fundamental...more

A Review of Recent Whistleblower Developments

Second Circuit Splits from Fifth Circuit on Whistleblower SEC Reporting Obligations On September 10, 2015, the Second Circuit in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy LLC, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16071 (2d Cir. 2015), ruled that...more

UNDER THE BUS: Feds’ New Focus On Individual Wrongdoers Has Implications For Employers

The U.S. Department of Justice has recently issued a memorandum entitled “Individual Accountability for Corporate Wrongdoing.” According to the Memorandum, companies involved in federal criminal and civil investigations will...more

N.D. Illinois Grants Summary Judgment Against SOX Whistleblower

On August 26, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted summary judgment on a whistleblower retaliation claim under Section 806 of SOX, holding that Plaintiff Ivor Hill failed to establish a...more

E.D.N.Y Denies Motion For Summary Judgment In FCA Retaliation Case Based On Finding Of Pretext

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York recently found that two former employees of Eihab Human Services (Company) raised a genuine issue of material fact as to whether they were discharged in retaliation...more

Fifth Circuit Rejects SOX Whistleblower Claims Not Raised in Administrative Complaint; Adopts Liberal "Reasonable Belief" Pleading...

On July 31, 2015, the Fifth Circuit issued a decision that may have both a positive and negative impact on employers defending whistleblower retaliation claims under the Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX). In this decision, the court...more

The Fourth Circuit Expands the Implied Certification Theory to Anti-Retaliation Claims

On January 8, 2015, the Fourth Circuit determined that, amid a circuit split, the “implied certification” theory of liability under the False Claims Act (“FCA”) was viable in the Fourth Circuit. United States v. Triple...more

Whistleblowers Big Winners After OSHA Obtains Injunction in Case

On May 7, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) succeeded in obtaining a preliminary injunction in a whistleblower claim, which kept the Lear Corporation from being able to retaliate any further against a...more

Sixth Circuit Changes Course on Proof Required to Show Protected Whistleblower Activity Under SOX

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) provides anti-retaliation protection to whistleblowers who engage in “protected activity.” To engage in protected activity under SOX, the whistleblower must provide information to the Securities...more

Sixth Circuit Affirms $250K Victory to SOX Whistleblower and Provides Broad Interpretation of SOX

On May 28, 2015, the Sixth Circuit in Rhinehimer v. U.S. Bancorp Investments, Inc. affirmed a $250,000 jury verdict in favor of a former financial advisor for U.S. Bancorp Investments (“USBII”) who alleged that he had been...more

District Court Holds False Claims Act Applies to Employee Allegedly Terminated for Engaging in Protected Activity Against...

In a matter of first impression, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in Cestra v. Mylan Inc. No. 15-0873 (E.D. Pa., May 22, 2015) held that the antiretaliation provision of the False Claims Act...more

6th Circuit Reverses Itself, Abandons “Definitively and Specifically” Standard For SOX Whistleblower Protected Activity

On May 28, 2015, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an employee who reports allegedly fraudulent conduct engages in protected activity under SOX where he or she has a reasonable belief that the activity reported is...more

Ninth Circuit Overturns Summary Judgment Issued in Favor of Employer in Retaliation Case

Lukov v. Schindler Elevator Corp., No. 12-17695 (February 24, 2015): In an unpublished decision, the Ninth Circuit recently overturned summary judgment granted to an employer on the plaintiff’s retaliation claims. William...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

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

Higher burdens in SOX whistleblower retaliation claims - 5 tips for employers

Two recent decisions have clarified the heightened burden facing employers addressing whistleblower retaliation claims under Section 806 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). On October 9, 2014, in Fordham v. Fannie Mae,...more

For Whom the Whistle Blows

In This Issue: - Applicability and Protected Activity - Procedure Governing Section 402 Claims - Five Steps to Compliance - For More Information - Excerpt from Applicability and Protected...more

SCOTUS Affirms Right to Blow Your Whistle in Public Sector

There has long been tension in the public sector regarding an employee’s duties as an agent of the state and his or her right as an individual to freedom of speech. In a decision handed down in June of 2014, the United States...more

SOX Claim Dismissed: Rejection of IP Assignment Clause Not Protected Activity

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois recently granted a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss a SOX whistleblower retaliation claim, concluding that the plaintiff did not engage in protected activity. Fuqua...more

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