Header graphic for print

Proskauer Whistleblower Defense

Proskauer Joins Heads of SEC and OSHA Whistleblower Programs for 3/31/15 Webinar

Posted in OSHA Administration, SEC, SOX Whistleblower Decisions

webinarPlease join us for a webinar with heads of the SEC and OSHA whistleblower programs and a prominent plaintiff-side whistleblower attorney, titled: Whistleblower Reward and Retaliation Claims: Current Developments.

Register here:  REGISTER

Our distinguished panel will include:

Sean X. McKessy – Chief, Securities and Exchange Commission Office of the Whistleblower

Anthony Rosa – Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration, Assistant Regional Administrator for OSHA Whistleblower Protection Programs

Steven J. Pearlman – Partner and Co-Head of Proskauer’s Whistleblowing & Retaliation Group

Jason Zuckerman – Partner, Zuckerman Law Continue Reading

SEC’s Limit on Retroactivity of Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Bounty Awards Is Reasonable, Second Circuit Holds

Posted in Dodd Frank, SEC

Second Circuit SealThe Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently deferred to the SEC’s determination that a tipster who provided information to the Commission before July 21, 2010, the effective date of the Dodd-Frank Act, is not eligible to receive a whistleblower bounty payment.   Stryker v. SEC, Case No. 13-4404-ag (2d Cir. Mar. 11, 2015). Continue Reading

OSHA Issues Long-Awaited SOX Whistleblower Rule

Posted in OSHA Administration

osha2On March 5, 2015, OSHA issued a long-awaited Final Rule regarding SOX whistleblower procedures and related matters. The new Final Rule will replace the Interim Final Rule enacted in 2011, after Dodd-Frank amended SOX. The Final Rule largely follows the Interim Final Rule, even though commenters expressed a range of serious concerns. One key revision that was implemented in the Final Rule based on response from commenters was a procedure requiring each party’s filings to be shared with the other party. Continue Reading

NY Whistleblower Bounty Program On The Horizon?

Posted in State-Specific Whistleblower Claims

NewYorkNY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman recently announced his plans to propose legislation that would create a whistleblower incentive program at the state level.  The proposal, titled the Financial Frauds Whistleblower Act, would provide monetary awards to eligible individuals who report original information about illegal activity in the banking, insurance, and financial services industries.  The Financial Frauds Whistleblower Act also would enhance anti-retaliation protection for employees who report suspicious or illegal activity.  Additionally, the proposal provides for confidentiality for whistleblowers. Continue Reading

First SEC Whistleblower Award To Former Company Officer

Posted in SEC

secOn March 2, 2015, the SEC announced  an expected award of $475,000 to $575,000 to a former company officer “who reported original, high-quality information about a securities fraud that resulted in an SEC enforcement action with sanctions exceeding $1 million.”  The officer reported information to the SEC more than 120 days after other responsible compliance personnel at the company in possession of the information purportedly failed to adequately address the issue.  This is the first of its kind under the SEC’s whistleblower program, and the first award announced this year. Continue Reading

SEC Continues to Investigate Contractual Impediments to Whistleblower Complaints

Posted in SEC

secAs Rachel Louise Ensign reported earlier this week in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) continues to probe obstacles to corporate employees blowing the whistle. This time, according to Ms. Ensign, the agency has requested that companies “turn over every nondisclosure agreement, confidentiality agreement, severance agreement, and settlement agreement they entered into with employees since Dodd-Frank went into effect, as well as documents related to corporate training on confidentiality.”    Continue Reading

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

Posted in Dodd Frank

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 Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy, No. 14-cv-523, which follows the Fifth Circuit Asadi decision concluding that the Dodd-Frank anti-retaliation provision does not cover internal complaints.  The district court in Berman dismissed the plaintiff’s lawsuit because he made only an internal report, and an appeal to the Second Circuit ensued. Continue Reading

4th Circuit: 4 Year Statute Of Limitations Applies To SOX Claims

Posted in SOX Whistleblower Decisions

Seal of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth CircuitThe Fourth Circuit recently held that SOX whistleblower retaliation claims are subject to a four-year statute of limitations and that emotional distress damages are available in SOX actions.  Jones v. SouthPeak Interactive Corp. of Del., Case Nos. 13-2399 and 14-1765 (4th Cir. Jan. 26, 2015).  Continue Reading

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

Posted in OSHA Administration

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 largely declined.  According to data provided by OSHA, the total number of whistleblower complaints has generally increased over the past ten years.  This overall trend is not surprising in light of the greater publicity around whistleblowers in the wake of the passage of Dodd-Frank, employee-favorable rulings by the DOL, and pro-employee rulings by many courts. Continue Reading