News & Analysis as of

Whistleblower Laws Increasingly Vital for Government Enforcement Efforts

In 2014, a crewman aboard a Japanese cargo ship videotaped the vessel illegally dumping oily waste into the ocean and later turned the tape over to the U.S. Coast Guard. One year later, the resulting $1.8 million penalty for...more

Another SEC Whistleblower Amicus Brief On Whether Dodd-Frank Covers Internal Complaints

On February 6, the SEC filed its third amicus brief defending its interpretive rule on Dodd-Frank’s anti-retaliation provision, 15 U.S.C. §78u-6(h)(1). The impetus is a ruling out of the Southern District of New York in...more

To Whom Must The Whistle Blow? SEC Asks Second Circuit for Deference on Scope of Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Protection

In an amicus brief filed earlier this month in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy LCC, the SEC asked the Second Circuit to defer to the Commission and hold that individuals who report misconduct internally are covered by the...more

SEC Argues in Second Circuit Amicus Brief That Dodd-Frank Protects Inside Whistleblowers

On February 6, the Securities Exchange Commission filed an amicus brief advising the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that the whistleblower protections of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer...more

Whistleblower Protection Around the World

Welcome to Reed Smith’s monthly global employment law blog post. This month’s post covers the protection afforded to whistleblowers around the world. France - Under French law, employees cannot be sanctioned,...more

Second UBS Tax Investigation Shows the Continuing Allure of Whistleblower Law

News leaked late last week that Swiss banking giant UBS is again under DOJ investigation for aiding tax fraud by U.S. clients. In 2009, UBS pled guilty to a criminal tax conspiracy charge, and received a deferred prosecution...more

SEC: Whistleblower Protections Extend To Those Who Report Internally

A critical component of the SEC’s whistleblower program is the anti-retaliatory provisions of Exchange Act Section 21F, added to the statute by the Dodd-Frank Act. To implement that provision the Commission promulgated two...more

Supreme Court Issues Major Ruling Affecting Federal Workers Violating Agency Regulations

On January 21, 2015, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling determining that federal workers that violate agency regulations are still covered by federal whistleblower protections. The case was DHS v. MacLean, and...more

Court Rules That Outing a Whistleblower Constitutes Retaliation

When whistleblowers intend to remain in their company after alerting authorities to wrongdoing, it is imperative that they are able to maintain their privacy so that they would not be the victims of retaliation by other...more

Employers Be Aware: OSC Proposes Incentive-Based Whistleblower Program

The Ontario Securities Commission (the OSC) recently published “OSC Staff Consultation Paper 15-401” which sets out a proposed framework for an incentive-based whistleblower program. This program aims at incentivising...more

OSC Proposes New Whistleblower Program, with Financial Awards

Ontario may soon become the first Canadian jurisdiction to implement a whistleblower program for suspected securities law violations. On February 3, 2015, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) issued Staff...more

Opinions on Whistleblowers Have Changed Over Time

Now that there are more protections available for whistleblowers than ever before, especially whistleblowers in federal agencies, opinions on the act of whistleblowing have also begun to shift in a more positive light. ...more

A Look Back at SEC Whistleblowers in 2014

In retrospect, 2014 has to be considered a success for the whistleblower program run by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This year, whistleblowers who earned awards through the SEC earned more money...more

Supreme Court Backs Whistleblowing Air Marshall

On January 21st, the Supreme Court affirmed a former air marshal's right to whistleblower protection relating to his leaking of air security plans to the media. The 7-2 decision written by Chief Justice John Roberts in the...more

Whistleblower Protection Extends To Federal Workers Who Violate Agency Regulations

Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court held that an agent of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) who disclosed information that was prohibited by TSA regulations, was nonetheless protected under the Whistleblower...more

The Expansion of Pennsylvania's Whistleblower Law - What Government Contractors Must Know About This New Liability Threat

Businesses that enter into contracts with state or local government entities in Pennsylvania need to be aware of a new liability threat – lawsuits from employees alleging waste or wrongdoing in connection with the award of...more

Fifth Circuit Rules Revealing Whistleblower's Identity Is Materially Adverse Action

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that a notice revealing a whistleblower's identity to other employees can be considered a "materially adverse" action and violates the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX). The...more

Minnesota Overturns Precedent By Extending Whistleblower Statute of Limitations

On December 15, the Court of Appeals for the state of Minnesota made a decision that reversed 20 years of precedent by extending the Minnesota Whistleblower Act’s statute of limitations from two to six years. The decision...more

Consumer Financial Product Whistleblower Complaints Up Dramatically, SOX Complaints (with OSHA) Down

Since the enactment of Dodd-Frank in 2010, the number of whistleblower complaints filed under the Consumer Financial Protection Act (“CFPA”) has risen significantly while the number of SOX complaints filed with OSHA has...more

SDNY Follows Asadi: Internal Tipsters Not Dodd-Frank “Whistleblowers”

On December 5, 2014, the Southern District of New York in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy, No. 14-cv-523, ruled that an employee who complains internally about securities law violations does not qualify as a “whistleblower” under the...more

Senators Present New Whistleblower Law for Auto Industry

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla) recently presented a new piece of legislation that will protect the rights of whistleblowers within the auto industry, and offer them the potential to be paid millions of...more

SEC’s Second Amicus Brief On Whether Dodd-Frank Protects Internal Reports

On December 11, 2014, the SEC filed an amicus brief in support of Plaintiff-Appellant Mikael Safarian asking the Third Circuit to revive his Dodd-Frank whistleblower claim and endorse the agency’s definition of...more

Cal. App. Court Finds in Favor of “Whistleblower” Who Never Blew the Whistle

In Diego v. Pilgrim United Church of Christ, — Cal.Rptr.3d —-, 2014 WL 6602601 (Cal. App. 4 Dist.), the California Court of Appeal determined that Cecilia Diego (Plaintiff) could pursue a common law public policy retaliation...more

Business Litigation Alert: U.S. Supreme Court Set to Decide High Profile Whistleblower Case

On November 4, the U.S. Supreme Court heard the case Department of Homeland Security v. MacLean - a whistleblower protection case that is being closely watched. At issue is whether an employee can be terminated for...more

California Public Policy Prohibits Employer Retaliation Based on Mistaken Belief That Employee Engaged in Whistleblowing Activity

In Diego v. Pilgrim United Church of Christ (November 21, 2014) --- Cal. App. 4th ---), the California Fourth District Court of Appeal considered whether California public policy precludes employers from retaliating against...more

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