News & Analysis as of

Washington Court of Appeals Expands "Jeopardy" Element of Claim for Wrongful Discharge in Violation of Public Policy

This month the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division III issued a ruling in Becker v. Community Health Systems, Inc. that expands protections in a wrongful termination action based on violation of a public policy....more

Second Circuit Rejects Extraterritorial Application of Dodd-Frank’s Whistleblower Anti-Retaliation Provision

On August 14, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit became the first U.S. appellate court to weigh in on the extraterritorial application of the whistleblower provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street...more

Second Circuit Holds Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Provision Does Not Apply Extraterritorially

Last week, in Liu v. Siemens, AG, the Second Circuit held that the Dodd-Frank Act’s whistleblower retaliation provision (15 U.S.C. 78u-6(h)(1)) does not apply extraterritorially, in the first Second Circuit decision to...more

Second Circuit Rejects Definitively and Specifically Standard But Upholds Dismissal of SOX Whistleblower Complaint in Nielsen v....

Last week, the Second Circuit upheld a district court’s dismissal of a plaintiff’s Sarbanes-Oxley (“SOX”) whistleblower claim – but not before rejecting the “definitively and specifically” standard on which the district...more

Second Circuit Strays From “Definitively and Specifically” Standard But Still Dismisses SOX Claim

On August 8, 2014, the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a SOX whistleblower retaliation claim brought by a former AECOM Technology Corp. (“Company”) employee, holding that he did not engage in protected activity...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

The Supreme Court Extends SOX Whistleblower

On its face, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (“SOX”) is concerned with the conduct of publicly-traded, not privately-held, companies. SOX, after all, grew out of the scandalous and widely damaging failures of public companies...more

Supreme Court Protects Whistleblowing Employees of Mutual Fund Adviser

Whistleblowing law continues to develop, with a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision holding that, despite ambiguous statutory language, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 protects employees of private companies serving as...more

Eleventh Circuit Sustains Award To Employer In Whistleblower Case

In a warning to plaintiffs’ counsel who seek emotional distress damages for alleged whistleblower retaliation under Florida law, the Eleventh Circuit in Smith v. Psychiatric Solutions, Inc., 750 F.3d 1253 (11th Cir. May 6,...more

Fourth Circuit Determines Whistleblower Termination Not Retaliatory Discharge Under Sarbanes-Oxley

The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled recently that an employee’s termination after reporting his company’s potential connection to export violations and insider trading did not amount to a retaliatory discharge...more

Supreme Court Extends SOX Whistleblower Protection to Contractors

The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.” Following a rash of financial calamities largely caused by risky and illegal conduct within publicly traded...more

The Network News

Fraud Index Released-Startling Findings - A survey of more than 1,400 organizations worldwide revealed startling 4th quarter results on fraud trends for 2013. The Fraud Reporting Percentage (FRP), which measures fraud...more

E.D. Pennsylvania Limits Supreme Court’s SOX Whistleblower Decision

In a case of first impression, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled that the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding in Lawson v. FMR LLC, 134 S. Ct. 1158 (2014)—that the whistleblower protection...more

Ethical Challenges Lawyers Face Under Sarbanes-Oxley

Deciding to report internal misconduct can be difficult for any employee or officer of an organization. For members of the legal profession, however, the decision can easily conflict with their ethical obligations. Lawyers...more

OSHA Orders Company to Pay SOX Whistleblower Back Wages

According to its recent press release, OSHA issued a preliminary order requiring SpongeTech Delivery Systems, Inc. of New York (Company), a cleaning product company, to pay a complainant $31,835.33 in back wages based on its...more

Fourth Circuit Breathes Life into Summary Judgment for Employers Defending SOX Whistleblower Claims

On May 12, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued a ruling upholding a grant of summary judgment in favor of the employer in Feldman v. Law Enforcement Assocs. Corp., a Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX)...more

Recent Decision Demonstrates Reach of Lawson; Extends SOX Whistleblower Protections to Employee of a Nonpublic Subsidiary of a...

We recently blogged about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Lawson v. FMR LLC, 571 S. Ct. __, 188 L. Ed. 2d 158 (Mar. 4, 2014), which held that the whistleblower protections in section 1514A applied not only to the direct...more

S.D.N.Y. Takes Broad Approach To SOX and Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claims

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York recently denied a motion to dismiss a plaintiff’s SOX and Dodd-Frank whistleblower claims, ruling that (i) the plaintiff engaged in SOX protected activity even...more

New York’s Court of Appeals Makes it Easier to Plead Whistleblower Law Claims

In a decision handed down last week, New York’s highest court ruled that a whistleblower need not plead the specific “law, rule or regulation” the employer allegedly violated to state a cause of action under New York’s...more

Fourth Circuit Says Employee Suing Under SOX Could Not Show Complaints Contributed to Termination Decision

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“SOX”) prohibits publically-traded companies from retaliating against employees for complaining about issues that could affect the shareholders of the company. On Monday, the Fourth Circuit Court of...more

Employers Defending Against SOX Whistleblower Actions Should Prepare for a Long Ride

Employers defending against Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) whistleblower retaliation claims should be prepared for a long and potentially onerous litigation process, even if the claims lack merit. A recent district court decision...more

4th Circuit: SOX Whistleblower Failed To Establish A Prima Facie Case Regarding Causation

On May 12, 2014, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment on a SOX whistleblower claim, concluding that the whistleblowers’ alleged protected activity was not a “contributing factor” in the challenged...more

Whistleblower Doesn’t Have To Report To SEC For Dodd-Frank Protection

In Yang v. Navigators Group, Inc. (S.D.N.Y. 2014), the court held the Dodd-Frank anti-retaliation statute does not clearly and unambiguously limit whistleblower protection to individuals who report violations to the SEC where...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

The Whistle Blower Provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley Extends to Employees of Privately Held Companies Under Some Circumstances

In a decision that expands considerably the number of employees covered by the whistle-blower provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the United States Supreme Court ruled earlier this month in Lawson v. FMR LLC that two former...more

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