News & Analysis as of

OSHA Publishes Interim Rule For Handling Whistleblower Retaliation Complaints

OSHA has published the interim final text of regulations governing the employee protection (or whistleblower) provisions of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010, or CFPA, Section 1057 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street...more

Whistleblowing in Afghanistan Allegedly Elicits Retaliatory Response

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled in September 2013 that Mike Elder proffered sufficient evidence to continue with his False Claims Act action against DRS Technologies, Inc. (DRS)....more

Whistleblower Claims The Wave Continues

"The cover-up is often worse than the crime" – an apt mantra for employers who are being increasingly forced to defend retaliation and/or whistleblower claims brought in myriad industries under a broad spectrum of federal and...more

California Supreme Court Allows Whistleblowing Doctor To Sue Before Exhausting Judicial Remedies

Fahlen v. Sutter Central Valley Hospitals, S205568 (February 20, 2014): The California Supreme Court recently held that a physician, who claimed that a hospital terminated his staff privileges in retaliation for raising...more

Retaliating Against a Nuclear Power Whistleblower

From the recent reports of retaliatory acts against whistleblowers, some wonder if the protections under the Dodd-Frank Act proscribing retribution against tipsters are known to companies and government offices. Regardless of...more

Lawson v. FMR: Are SarbOx Whistleblower Provisions A Horse Designed By Committee?

A camel (so the saying goes) is a horse designed by committee. It seems the Supreme Court may think the same of the whistleblower provisions in § 806 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Section 806 prohibits retaliatory...more

SEC’s Amicus Brief: Internal Whistleblower Reports Covered By Dodd-Frank Anti-Retaliation Provision

As we previously discussed, courts have struggled with determining the scope of the protections in Dodd-Frank’s anti-retaliation provisions. On the one hand, Dodd-Frank defines a “whistleblower” as any individual, or group of...more

California Expands Protections for Employee Whistleblowers

Attention all employers with employees in California: On October 12, 2013, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 496, amending the whistleblower retaliation provisions set forth in section 1102.5 of...more

Illinois Whistleblower Awarded $3 Million Following Jury Trial

In what appears to be an alarming trend for employers, the Chicago Tribune recently reported that a former Chicago State University employee was awarded $3 million after a Cook County, Illinois jury found that the University...more

SEC Scrutinizing Contractual Impediments to Whistleblower Complaints

Sean McKessy (“McKessy”), the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) whistleblower chief, cautioned in-house attorneys who draft contracts incentivizing employees to report securities fraud complaints in-house rather...more

Managing Employees Who File Claims

Dealing with an employee who has filed a claim places an employer in a precarious position – the employer needs to properly manage the employee, but avoid a retaliation claim in the process. It's like walking a tightrope....more

Adopt an Internal Whistleblower Policy

It is highly recommended for companies and organizations to implement a strong internal whistleblower policy. The primary reasons for a corporate whistleblower system are to protect the company and its chief executive officer...more

California Decision Allows Physician to Challenge Sham Peer Review as Whistleblower Retaliation

In Fahlen v. Sutter Central Valley Hospitals, the California Supreme Court found: A physician is not required to first exhaust his administrative remedies through the medical staff appeals process in order to...more

SCOTUS Expands Sarbanes-Oxley to Include Contractors

In a stunning expansion of previously understood law, the Supreme Court held, on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, that the employees of a contractor to a publicly traded company may sue their employer for retaliation suffered as a...more

Retaliation Exposure Tipping Point? Supreme Court Extends SOX Whistleblower Protections to Private Company Employees

The Supreme Court in Lawson vs FMR, LLC (delivered March 4, 2014 after a 6-3 vote) has ruled that employees of private companies engaged by public companies are covered by the whistleblower protections of Sarbanes Oxley Act...more

New California Laws Target Whistleblower Retaliation, Expand Protection For Immigrant Workers

A series of recently enacted, far-reaching California laws targeting employers who retaliate against workers could subject the state’s employers and, potentially, their attorneys, to criminal penalties. So far, California—a...more

Private Company Employees Who Blow the Whistle on Public Company Fraud Are Protected from Retaliation

When it passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (“SOX”), Congress established protections against retaliation for “employees” who report fraud at public companies. Since then, however, courts and commentators have disagreed...more

Supreme Court Expands SOX Whistleblower Protection to Employees of Private Contractors of Public Companies

In the first SOX whistleblower case to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Court held on March 4 that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) prohibits private contractors of publicly traded companies from retaliating...more

Supreme Court Expands Scope of Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Liability

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its opinion in Lawson v. FMR LLC, No. 12-3, holding that the whistleblower protections of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 protect not only the employees of regulated...more

SDNY Holds Whistleblowers Not Entitled To Retroactive Application Of Dodd-Frank Protections

On February 21, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York held that the Dodd-Frank Act’s whistleblower protection provisions could not be applied retroactively to an alleged retaliation that occurred...more

“Entirely Comfortable” With a “Monster”: A Striking Decision From an Unlikely Source About Excessive Fines Under the FCA

As we have discussed before, whistleblower and retaliation decisions—including from the Supreme Court of the United States—have created an increasingly whistleblower-friendly body of law that unifies courts across the...more

The Fahlen Floodgates: Straight Talk about Two-Track Peer Review

The California Supreme Court unanimously ruled on February 20, 2014, that a physician claiming that her/his privileges were terminated in retaliation for whistleblowing to safeguard patient care and safety does not have to...more

Complaint about Foreign Tax Violations Sunk Under SOX

On February 12, 2014, the Fifth Circuit in Villanueva v. U.S. Department of Labor held that an employee did not engage in protected activity under SOX when he reported alleged violations of Columbian tax laws to U.S....more

Reading between the Headlines: A Lesson in Risk Mitigation from Edward Snowden

Whistleblowing has become a highly charged term, stirring up emotive rhetoric ranging from “ethical hero” to “treasonous traitor” with very little substantive evaluation of the real impact on the corporation and the broader...more

Have You Noticed? Pilot Program Protects Federal Grant Workers from Whistleblower Retaliation

A pilot program enacted by Congress went into effect last spring to protect whistleblowers who are working on federal grants. While it remains under the radar, this program is worth your review, as it not only imposes new...more

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