News & Analysis as of

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

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

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