News & Analysis as of

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

Safeguarding a Whistleblower’s Identity

Everyone knows that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act prohibits retaliation against whistleblowers. It may be less obvious, however, that merely disclosing a whistleblower’s identity can constitute prohibited retaliation. ...more

The Ninth Circuit Provides Clarity on ERA Whistleblower Protections.

On November 7, 2014, the Ninth Circuit issued its ruling in Tamosaitis v. URS Inc. and provided clarity on three key aspects of the whistleblower protections afforded under the Energy Reorganization Act (ERA), 42 U.S.C. 5801...more

2014 Global Ethics Benchmarking Report Reveals Workplace Retaliation On The Rise

We recently released our 2014 Global Ethics Benchmarking Report, an annual report that contains a thorough analysis of the previous five years of whistleblower hotline reporting data, that gives the market insight into...more

Sixth Circuit Dismisses Whistleblower’s Claims Made By Job Applicant

This week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that a job applicant lacks standing to bring whistle-blower claims under the Energy Reorganization Act and the False Claims Act (“FCA”) because those laws’...more

Job Applicant Denied Whistleblower Protection in Sixth Circuit

Job applicants lack standing to bring whistleblower retaliation claims under the False Claims Act (FCA) and the Energy Reorganization Act (ERA) because they are not “employees,” according to the Sixth Circuit Court of...more

FINRA: Firms Should Not Restrict Whistleblower Rights

Why it matters - In a new regulatory notice, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) reminded regulated firms not to prohibit the exercise of whistleblower rights in settlement agreements with employees and...more

Court Follows 5th Circuit Asadi Decision, Dismisses Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claim

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in Verfuerth v. Orion Energy Systems, Inc., No. 14-cv-352 (E.D. Wis. Nov. 4, 2014) recently ruled that the Dodd-Frank whistleblower protection provision does not...more

The Customer is Sometimes Right

You’re a subcontractor with employees at your customer’s worksite. The customer orders you to remove an employee from the project. In fact, the customer emails you that the employee’s repeated safety complaints are killing...more

SEC Whistleblower Office Reaches Three-Year Anniversary

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of the Whistleblower has only been open since August 2011, yet it has already made a pretty big name for itself in protecting the rights of whistleblowers and...more

Study: Does The Existence Of Whistleblowers In Enforcement Actions Mean Greater Penalties?

According to an academic study published on October 6, 2014 by Andrew C. Hall, Gerald S. Martin, Nathan Y. Sharp, and Jaron H. Wilde, the presence of whistleblowers may have a meaningful impact on the outcomes of enforcement...more

California Court Allows Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Claims to Proceed Despite Absence of Complaint to SEC

In a case of first impression within the Ninth Circuit, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that the whistleblower protection provision in Dodd-Frank protects whistleblowers who report...more

Agencies Still Falling Short of Federal Whistleblower Protection Standards

While there are more laws in place than ever before regarding the fair treatment and protection of whistleblowers in the United States, there are still some government agencies that are falling short of complying with the...more

Administrative Review Board Clarifies Causation Burdens in SOX Whistleblower Cases

The ARB recently clarified the competing burdens of proof on issues of causation for whistleblower retaliation cases arising under SOX Section 806 and other whistleblower protection statutes. In particular, in Fordham v....more

Recent Developments in Cases Dealing with the False Claims Act’s First-to-File and Public Disclosure Bars

The False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729-3733, enables whistleblowers—also known as qui tam relators— to file fraud suits on behalf of the United States against private government contractors. With the assistance of qui tam...more

Seminal Decision Could Make it Harder for Publicly Traded Employers to Defeat Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Claims

Long awaited in Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) whistleblower circles, on October 9, 2014 the U. S. Department of Labor's Administrative Review Board (ARB) issued a split 2-1 panel decision in Fordham v. Fannie Mae, ARB No. 12-061,...more

False Claims Act Does Not Protect An Employee Disclosing His Whistleblower History

On October 20, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio found that the False Claims Act (“FCA”) did not protect an employee who was fired after revealing his history as a whistleblower and offering...more

FINRA Requires New “Whistleblower” Clause in Settlement Agreements

Since 2004, FINRA has required its member firms to include in settlement-agreement confidentiality clauses an exception expressly allowing a customer to respond to regulatory inquiries. See Notice to Members 04-44. FINRA...more

Supreme Court Makes Necessary Expansions to Whistleblower Law

The United States Supreme Court recently ruled in the case of Lawson v. FMR, LLC that people employed by a private company that is either a contractor or subcontractor or a public company are to be extended the same...more

Whistleblowers Now Have More Time to File Whistleblower Claims through NLRB

Under the whistleblower provisions of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), employees typically only have 30 days to file a complaint about employer retaliation. However, OSHA has now reached an agreement...more

Blog: Director Of SEC Whistleblower Office To Staff: I Want To Pump You Up* To Find Whistleblower Retaliation Cases

According to Law360, the director of the SEC’s whistleblower office, Sean McKessy, is exhorting the staff of that office to set a high priority on cases involving employer retaliation for whistleblower complaints. During an...more

FINRA Again Cautions Against Confidentiality Provisions Silencing Whistleblowers

As reported this week by Law360 (subscription required), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently issued a reminder (Regulatory Notice 14-40) warning firms against the use of confidentiality provisions in...more

FINRA Reminds Anti-Whistleblower Provisions Are Not Permitted in Settlement Agreements

FINRA has published a regulatory notice where it reminds firms that it is a violation of FINRA Rule 2010 (Standards of Commercial Honor and Principles of Trade) to include confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements...more

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