Whistleblowers Whistleblower Protection Policies

News & Analysis as of

Proposed Legislation Could Punish Those Who Retaliate Against VA Whistleblowers

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has been the subject of controversy for much of the past year after a variety of whistleblowers exposed a nationwide problem of extremely long wait times for veterans needing treatment...more

Arizona's "Whistleblower" Laws: Tread Carefully

A “whistleblower” is someone who reports to management (or in some cases state and federal agencies) that they believe someone in their company is engaged in illegal conduct. There are numerous federal statutes that provide...more

Employers: 9 Provisions You Need in a Whistleblower Policy

A potential whistleblower need only run a quick Internet search to find many attorneys ready to take his or her case. Knowing this, employers need to be proactive: Any employer handbook or policy and procedures manual should...more

Whistle While You Work: SEC Announces First Retaliation Whistleblower Award

On June 16, 2014, the SEC issued its first-ever charge of whistleblower retaliation under section 922 of the Dodd-Frank Act, charging a hedge fund advisor and its owner with “engaging in prohibited principal transactions and...more

Has the SEC Become the "Whistleblower’s Advocate"?

The SEC Chair discusses the whistleblower program’s achievements and importance and how the agency will fight to ensure that whistleblowers continue to be heard....more

April Whistleblower News Digest | Consider Targeted Anti-Retaliation Training as part of Your Ethics and Compliance Training...

If April showers bring May flowers, then May is going to be a veritable hurricane of whistleblower-related fines (and also pollen). Our first three items come to us from the SEC, with awards and fines galore, most notably the...more

The Cost of Buying Silence – Non-disclosure Provisions Run Afoul of Federal Agencies

There’s an inherent tension in requiring an employee to sign an agreement restricting his or her ability to discuss activity in the workplace. On one hand, employers with confidential business practices and trade secrets need...more

King Arthur Week – The Green Knight and the Protection of Whistleblowers – Part IV

We continue our King Arthur themed week with an exploration of one of the most interesting characters in the Arthur canon, The Green Knight, so called because his skin and clothes are green. The meaning of his greenness has...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

Proskauer Participates With Head of SEC Whistleblower Program in 4/22/15 Webinar

Proskauer Partner Connie N. Bertram, co-head of the Whistleblowing & Retaliation Practice, participated in a webinar last week with Sean McKessy, Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower. The webinar, sponsored by the...more

Confidentiality Clauses Under Increasing Scrutiny by Federal Agencies

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has become the latest federal agency to challenge the legality of employee confidentiality requirements. Earlier this month, the SEC instituted its first administrative proceeding...more

SEC Enforcement Gives Employers a Strong Incentive to Clarify That Their Confidentiality Agreements Do Not Preclude Reporting...

The Securities and Exchange Commission? (“SEC”) has resolved its first enforcement action regarding a potentially overreaching confidentiality agreement following the “voluntary” revision of the agreement to state that it...more

Beware of Confidentiality Agreements with Employees; Make Sure They Don’t Stifle Whistleblowing

On April 1, 2015, the SEC announced its first enforcement action against a company for utilizing language in a confidentiality agreement which could discourage whistleblowing....more

Confidentiality Agreements of Federal Contractor Employees – Changes To The Federal Acquisition Regulations Are Coming Soon

Confidentiality agreements for employees of federal contractors are increasingly coming under scrutiny by federal agencies. In late 2014, as part of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act (the “Act”),...more

SEC Takes Aggressive Approach to Fortify Dodd-Frank’s Whistleblower Rules

On April 1, 2015, the Securities & Exchange Commission (the “SEC” or “Commission”) fined a public company $130,000 for requiring employees involved in internal investigations to sign a confidentiality agreement that the...more

Five Key Issues Confronting Financial Services Industry Employers

Employers in the financial services industry are faced with a growing number of employment law challenges. Whistleblower complaints are on the rise as regulatory agencies become more aggressive in their efforts to encourage...more

SEC Applies Whistleblower Protections to Confidentiality Arrangements

Public companies should review their confidentiality arrangements for any provisions that may result in unintended violations of the Dodd-Frank Act’s whistleblower protections....more

SEC Assault on Employee Confidentiality Agreements

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced an enforcement action against KBR, Inc., alleging that a form of confidentiality agreement used in internal investigations violated an SEC whistleblower rule. To...more

SEC Blows the Whistle on Confidentiality Agreements

Thanks to a recent enforcement action brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), it may be time to review and revise the confidentiality provisions in employment agreements, severance agreements, employee...more

Washington Jury Awards “Perceived” Whistleblower $1 Million

In a jury verdict issued on March 26, 2015, a supervisor for the nation’s largest ferry system was awarded $1 million because the jury concluded that his employer demoted him as an act of retaliation in violation of the...more

UK Update - Whistleblowing: When is a disclosure made in the public interest?

In Chestertons –v– Nurmohamed, the Employment Appeal Tribunal has given the first appellate guidance on when a worker’s disclosure is made in the public interest, so as to attract whistleblower protection....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

Three Thoughts about the SEC’s First “Pretaliation” Case

I was on a flight last Wednesday when the SEC released the first of what whistleblower chief Sean McKessy has dubbed “pretaliation” cases against KBR, Inc. When I landed I had several emails from colleagues, asking, “Did you...more

The SEC is Taking a Closer Look at Confidentiality Agreements to Ensure Potential Whistleblowers Not Restrained

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced on April 1, 2015 that it was instituting enforcement proceedings relating to the whistleblower provisions of the 2010 Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: SEC Sends Clear Message - Companies Cannot Restrict Whistleblowers Via Employee Confidentiality Agreements

On April 1, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its first enforcement action against a company for using improperly restrictive language in employee confidentiality agreements, noting that such limits...more

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