In a pair of recently issued decisions, the Department of Labor’s Administrative Review Board (ARB) held that Sarbanes Oxley’s anti-retaliation provision does not apply extraterritorially. Hu v. PTC, Inc., ARB Case No. 2017-0068 (Sept. 18, 2019); Perez v. Citigroup, Inc., ARB Case No. 2017-0031 (Sept. 30,
Allison Martin is a senior counsel in the Labor & Employment Law Department. Allison represents employers in a wide range of employment litigation matters, including employment discrimination and harassment lawsuits arising under Title VII and similar state and local statutes, retaliation claims, and wage-and-hour claims. She represents employers in federal and state courts, arbitration tribunals, and before the EEOC and the New York City Commission on Human Rights. Allison has extensive experience litigating both single plaintiff and class action lawsuits.
Allison also counsels clients on a broad range of employment law matters, including investigations, employment policies and procedures, and employee terminations and discipline. She also has experience conducting high-profile internal investigations on behalf of employers.
Allison previously served as a federal law clerk in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
At Seton Hall University School of Law, Allison was an Articles Editor for the Seton Hall Law Review. Allison also interned for Chief Judge Garrett E. Brown (Ret.) of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey while in law school.
The ARB recently affirmed the dismissal of a whistleblower retaliation claim under Section 806 of SOX, holding an employer is not a “contractor” covered by SOX simply because it was a party to a contract with a publicly traded company. Griffo v. Book Dog Books, LLC, Robert William Holdings, LLC …
On January 22, 2018, the Missouri Court of Appeals upheld a jury verdict awarding approximately $1.5 million in damages to a radiation oncologist after finding that she had been constructively and wrongfully terminated in violation of Missouri law (specifically, “Missouri public policy”) in retaliation for reporting alleged instances of substandard…
Two courts in the Northern District of Illinois recently ruled that the Illinois Whistleblower Act (IWA) (740 ILCS § 174/5) provides for individual liability. Bello v. Village of Skokie, No. 14-cv-1718 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 2, 2014 and Dec. 31, 2015); Hower v. Cook County Sheriff’s Office, No. 15-cv-6404 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 16, 2016).
On November 24, 2015, the ARB adopted an expansive interpretation of what constitutes an adverse action for claims asserted under the Federal Railroad Safety Act of 1982 (FRSA), holding that a reduced performance rating with no compensation-related consequences and a failure to pay medical bills in connection with a work-related accident are actionable. Fricka v. National Railroad Passenger Corp., ARB Case No. 14-047 (Nov. 24, 2015).
Further reflecting the divide amongst courts regarding the definition of “whistleblower” under the Dodd-Frank Act, the District Court of New Jersey recently held that an employee who internally reports an alleged securities law violation is subject to the statute’s anti-retaliation protections. Dressler v. Lime Energy, No. 3:14-cv-07060, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106532 (D.N.J. Aug. 13, 2015).
The Second Circuit recently entertained oral argument in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy, focusing on whether the Dodd-Frank whistleblower protection provision covers individuals who only complain internally about alleged securities law violations rather than reaching out to the SEC. We previously posted on the Southern District of New York’s December 5, 2014 ruling in this matter that internal reports are not protected under Dodd-Frank, as was held in the Asadi case out of the Fifth Circuit. We also discussed the SEC’s amicus brief in this matter here.
On May 5, 2015, in Somers v. Digital Realty Trust Inc., No. C-14-5180, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California held that an internal complaint of an alleged securities law violation is sufficient to invoke the Dodd-Frank Act’s anti-retaliation protection.
The Directorate of Whistleblower Protection Programs recently issued a guidance memorandum titled “Clarification of the Investigative Standard for OSHA Whistleblower Investigations,” for the apparent purpose of clarifying the standards for its whistleblower investigations. A review of this memorandum provides employers with insight as to the standard OSHA uses to determine whether a merits finding is in order.
The 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).