In a SOX whistleblower case of first impression, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled that front pay may be ordered in lieu of reinstatement. However, the court ultimately determined that front pay was not warranted under the facts of this case.
As a follow-up to our post on the most recent whistleblower award being handed out by OSHA–which exceeded $1M–I spoke once again with Colin O’Keefe of LXBN on the matter. In this interview, I share my thoughts on this growing trend of large whistleblower awards from OSHA and the implications it has for employers in a wide range of industries.
On November 15, 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Office of the Whistleblower (OWB) released its third Annual Report on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program to Congress, which details information on OWB’s activities and bounty payouts for the fiscal year, as described in our post on the 2012 Annual Report. Continue Reading
On November 13, 2013, OSHA issued a press release stating that it ordered Gaines Motor Lines (the “Company”) to pay a total of $1,070,123 to four whistleblowers, along with reinstatement. Continue Reading
In a recent Wall Street Journal (“WSJ”) article (subscription required), Lloyd Chinn, Co-head of Proskauer’s Whistleblower & Retaliation Group, commented on Lawson v. FMR LLC, a case before the U.S. Supreme Court concerning whether Section 806 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (“SOX”) protects an employee of a privately held contractor or subcontractor of a public company. Chinn, who attended Tuesday’s oral argument, told the WSJ that the justices appeared to be virtually unanimous in expressing concerns “around what limitations there should be” to the application of Section 806. Continue Reading
On November 12, 2013, a Georgia district court ruled that Dodd-Frank whistleblowers are not entitled to a jury trial or punitive damages. Pruett v. BlueLinx Holdings, Inc., No. 13-cv-02607 (N.D. Ga., Nov. 12, 2013). This is a first-impression decision that is likely to impact the valuation of Dodd-Frank whistleblower claims. Continue Reading
On November 12, 2013, the United States Supreme Court heard oral argument in Lawson v. FMR LLC to decide whether Sarbanes-Oxley’s whistleblower protection extends to employees of a publicly traded company’s contractors. The Court’s decision is highly significant to employers because it will determine whether the whistleblower provision applies to the employees of the country’s roughly 5,000 public companies or, alternatively, to the employees of millions of private companies that simply happen to be contractors with public companies. The transcript of the oral argument can be found here. Continue Reading
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois recently ruled that a retaliation claim survived summary judgment because of the “convincing mosaic” of evidence of retaliation the Plaintiff presented, particularly the employer’s purportedly shifting explanation regarding its reason for terminating her employment. Wessman v. DDB Chicago Inc., No. 12-cv-6712 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 29, 2013). Continue Reading
On November 4th, the Senate voted unanimously to expand whistleblower protections in criminal antitrust cases by passing the Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act (CAARA). This bill provides whistleblower protections to so-called innocent third party whistleblowers. Continue Reading
In an insightful and timely article that appeared on WSJ.com yesterday (subscription required), Steven J. Pearlman, co-head of Proskauer’s Whistleblower & Retaliation Group, commented on the uptick of whistleblower complaints arising from compliance employees. Continue Reading