Whistleblowers Protected Activity

News & Analysis as of

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Lukov v. Schindler Elevator Corp., No. 12-17695 (February 24, 2015): In an unpublished decision, the Ninth Circuit recently overturned summary judgment granted to an employer on the plaintiff’s retaliation claims.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

Before The Whistle Blows: Understanding And Addressing The Expanding Scope Of Whistleblower Protections Under Sarbanes-Oxley And...

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (“Sarbanes-Oxley”) was enacted following the accounting scandals of the early 2000s involving Enron, WorldCom and other public companies. Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and...more

District Court Denies Summary Judgment On Internal Audit/SOX Administrator’s Whistleblower Claim

In denying a bank’s bid for summary judgment on an Internal Audit and SOX Administrator’s SOX whistleblower claim, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington highlighted the present conflict on the...more

Act Now Advisory: Court's Ruling That Employees Have No Blanket Entitlement to Take Employer's Confidential Documents for...

In a case that may have a broad impact, the New Jersey Appellate Division issued a decision on December 24, 2013, upholding criminal charges against a former school board clerk who took hundreds of confidential documents for...more

S.D.N.Y. Dismisses SOX Whistleblower Case, Applying Strict Protected Activity Standard And Finding No Causation

On December 12, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York granted an employer summary judgment on a long-running SOX whistleblower claim. Sharkey v. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., No. 10-cv-3824 (S.D.N.Y....more

Take Heart, Companies Can Win Whistleblower Cases: Two Key Victories Last Week In SOX And Dodd-Frank Cases

Two victories for employers last week in Dodd-Frank and SOX whistleblower cases may provide a basis for at least a sliver of optimism among employers and whistleblower defense lawyers hammered by a recent series of...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Takes Broad View Of Protected Complaints Under NJLAD, But Narrow View Under CEPA

On July 17, 2013, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that a plaintiff need not demonstrate an actual violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), let alone an identifiable victim, to prove a claim of...more

Law360 Quotes Steve Pearlman on “Sweeping Tide” of Whistleblower Claims

In a Law360 article (subscription required), Steven J. Pearlman, co-head of Proskauer’s Whistleblower & Retaliation Group, commented on a “troubling” ruling recently rendered by the Merit Systems Protection Board (“MSPB”) in...more

Tenth Circuit Issues its First Decision Interpreting SOX: Offers Broad Reading of the Act

On Tuesday, June 4th, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its first decision interpreting the Sarbanes Oxley Act’s whistleblower protection provision, affirming a decision by the U.S. Department of Labor’s...more

Retaliation Gets a Broader View

Retaliation cases continue to grow in number and, in a decision on June 4, 2013 of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, in scope as well....more

OSHA Reinstates ERA Whistleblower And Issues Daunting Preliminary Order

On May 15, 2013, OSHA determined that Enercon Services Inc. (Company), an engineering firm that provides nuclear power facilities with engineering support services, violated the whistleblower provisions of the Energy...more

Third Circuit Panel Liberalizes "Protected Activity" Immunity for Employees Claiming Whistleblower Status

The popular image of the American corporate whistleblower, as depicted in Hollywood box-office smashes such as The Insider and Michael Clayton, is a courageous hero who reports corporate wrongdoing, often at the risk of...more

White Collar Watch - April 2013

In This Issue: - Third Circuit Panel Liberalizes “Protected Activity” Immunity for Employees Claiming Whistleblower Status - Doing Time: A Requirement for White Collar Crime? - Casting a Smaller Net:...more

Recent Multi-Million Dollar Whistleblower Jury Awards — A Wake-Up Call For Employers

In what might be an unsettling trend for employers, juries in Philadelphia and Anchorage have recently issued multi-million dollar jury awards in favor of whistleblowers. Specifically, on March 22, 2013, a Philadelphia Common...more

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