News & Analysis as of

SCOTUS Ruling Increases Private Company Risk – Imminent Need for Business Ethics Training

In an important ruling on March 4, the Supreme Court expanded the whistleblower protections outlined in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). Originally only applied to whistleblowers at public companies, the Justices decided in a...more

Supreme Court Expands Scope of Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Protections

The Issue: My company is not publicly traded, but provides services to companies that are. Do Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower protections extend to our employees? The Solution: Yes. ...more

Business News Digest – April 2014

In this issue: - Cybersecurity Assessments – Using the Tool Well - A SOX in the Gut: Supreme Court Vastly Expands Workplace "Whistleblower" Law - SEC to Scrutinize Never-Examined Investment...more

A Review of Recent Whistleblower Developments

In a ground-breaking decision, on March 4, 2014, the United States Supreme Court held in Lawson v. FMR LLC, 571 U.S. __ Case 12-3 (Mar. 4, 2014), that §1514A of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 provides a right of action for...more

Lawson and Doral Expand Whistleblower Protections

Two recent decisions interpreting the Sarbanes-Oxley Act have significantly expanded the protections available for federal whistleblowers and increase the potential liability for public companies and private companies that...more

U.S. Supreme Court Expands Scope of Whistleblower Protections

Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that whistleblower protections of Sarbanes-Oxley extend not only to employees of public companies, but to the employees of their contractors and subcontractors. See Lawson...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

Transferring Confidential Data to IRS Earns SOX Protection for Whistleblower

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL, in Vannoy v. Celanese Corporation, recently ruled in favor of a whistleblower who claimed retaliation after taking sensitive information from his employer and giving it to the Internal...more

Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Protections Cover Employees of a Public Company’s Private Contractors

On March 4, 2014, the United States Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, expanded the protections offered to whistleblowers under anti-fraud laws, in Lawson v. FMR LLC. In its decision, the Court ruled that a specific...more

The U.S. Supreme Court Extends Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Protections to Employees of Mutual Fund Investment Advisers and Other...

The Supreme Court of the United States on March 4, 2014 held that employees of a privately-held mutual fund investment adviser are protected under a whistleblower provision enacted as part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002...more

Supreme Court Widens Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Net

On March 4, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court significantly expanded the Sarbanes-Oxley anti-retaliation law to cover employees of private contractors who perform services for publicly-traded companies. Passed in 2002 in the wake...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

Employment Law

Same-Sex Harassment Suits Yield Sizable Settlements - Why it matters: Same-sex sexual harassment made headlines recently after the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reached settlements with two different...more

U.S. Supreme Court Expands SOX Whistleblower Protection to Employees of Private Contractors

In a landmark whistleblower decision by the United States Supreme Court, Lawson, et al. v. FMR LLC, et al., the Court held that the whistleblower protections under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (“SOX”) apply not only to...more

Supreme Court Extends SOX Whistleblower Protection To Contractors’ Employees

On March 4, in a suit brought by former employees of private companies that advise or manage mutual funds, the U.S. Supreme Court held (6-3) that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act’s whistleblower protection provision covers employees of...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - March 2014

In February, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed the Fair Chance Ordinance, which limits when and to what extent employers can inquire into the criminal history of applicants and employees. The ordinance also...more

In Lawson, Supreme Court Expands SOX Whistleblower Protection to Employees of Private Contractors

On March 4, 2014, in Lawson v. FMR, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a public company’s private contractors can be covered under the whistleblower protections of Section 806 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The Supreme Court’s...more

SOX Whistleblower Protections Now Cover Employees of Private Contractors

Until this month, the onerous (for employers) anti-retaliation protection in Section 1514A of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) only applied to employees of publicly traded corporations. But, in a widely reported decision, Lawson...more

California Jury Awards $6 Million in Sarbanes-Oxley Act Whistleblower Lawsuit

A California jury recently awarded Catherine Zulfer, a former accounting executive at Playboy Enterprises, $6 million after finding that Playboy violated the whistle-blower provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX)...more

United States Supreme Court Holds That Section 806 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act Extends to Employees of Private Companies Who Are...

In Lawson v. FMR, LLC, No. 12-3, 2014 WL 813701 (U.S. Mar. 4, 2014), the Supreme Court of the United States, in a 6-3 decision reversing the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, held that the whistleblower...more

In Case You Missed It - Interesting Items for Corporate Counsel (Cumulative) - March 13, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled in Lawson v. FMR LLC that the whistleblower provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act protect employees who work for contractors and subcontractors of public companies and not just employees...more

Supreme Court "SOX" it to Employers by Extending Statute's Whistleblower Provision to Private Contractors of Public Companies

On March 4, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Lawson v. FMR LLC expanding the class of persons protected under the anti-retaliatory provisions set forth in the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002 ("SOX"). The Court...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

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