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N.J. High Court Rules “Watchdog” Employees Protected Under State Whistleblower Law

On July 15, 2015, the Supreme Court of New Jersey ruled that an employee who monitors corporate compliance—a so-called “watchdog” employee—can engage in protected activity by blowing the whistle under the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (“CEPA”) in the course of performing the tasks and functions of the job for which he or she … Continue Reading

Self-Help Discovery Does Not Immunize Employee from Prosecution, Says NJ Supreme Court

On June 23, 2015, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that Quinlan v. Curtiss-Wright Corporation, 204 N.J. 239 (2010), does not bar criminal prosecutions arising from an employee’s removal of confidential company documents to support a discrimination claim.  State v. Saavedra, No. A-68-13.… Continue Reading

SEC Continues to Investigate Contractual Impediments to Whistleblower Complaints

As 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 … Continue Reading

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 settlement agreements that prohibit or otherwise restrict customers or anyone else (such as current employees) from communicating with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), FINRA, or … Continue Reading

Further Expanding An Already Expansive NJ Whistleblowing Law

Often touted as the most expansive state whistleblowing law in the U.S., New Jersey’s seemingly boundless Conscientious Employee Protection Act (“CEPA”) may get even broader.   On October 9, 2014, New Jersey’s Senate Labor Committee approved bill S768, which would expand CEPA to prohibit workplace retaliation against public employees who disclose or object to “a substantial … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Affirms No Extraterritorial Application For Dodd-Frank Anti-Retaliation Provision

In Liu v. Siemens A.G., No. 13-cv-4385, 2014 WL 3953672 (2d Cir. Aug. 14, 2014), the Second Circuit affirmed that the anti-retaliation provision in Section 922 of Dodd-Frank does not apply extraterritorially.  This post examines the Court’s reasoning and the implications of this decision—particularly for multinational employers.  For more on this decision, please review our … Continue Reading

SEC Brings First Dodd-Frank Anti-Retaliation Case

The SEC recently issued an Order against Paradigm Capital Management, Inc. (Paradigm), a registered investment adviser, and its principal for allegedly engaging in principal trades without effective client disclosure and consent, and for retaliating against an employee who reported such activity to the SEC.  According to the SEC, this is the first enforcement action it … Continue Reading

Video Interview: Proskauer’s Pearlman Comments on Implications of First Supreme Court SOX Whistleblower Decision

In a recent VIDEO INTERVIEW, Darla Stuckey of the Society of Corporate Secretaries & Governance Professionals met with Steven J. Pearlman, co-head of Proskauer’s Whistleblower & Retaliation Group, to discuss the implications of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to extend whistleblower protection under the SOX whistleblower provision employees of a publicly traded company’s contractors and … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Finds No Protected Activity under SOX, Mum on Extraterritoriality

In Villanueva v. United States Department of Labor, No. 12-60122, 2014 WL 550817 (5th Cir. Feb. 12, 2014), the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the petitioner had not engaged in protected activity under Section 806 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (“SOX”) because he “blew the whistle” on alleged violations of Colombiantax law, … Continue Reading

S.D.N.Y. Dismisses SOX Whistleblower Case, Applying Strict Protected Activity Standard And Finding No Causation

On December 12, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York granted an employer summary judgment on a long-running SOX whistleblower claim.  Sharkey v. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., No. 10-cv-3824 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 12, 2013).  The court ruled that (i) Plaintiff Jennifer Sharkey (Plaintiff) had not engaged in protected activity because … Continue Reading

Major Media Outlets Quote Lloyd Chinn On Sox Whistleblower Case Before Supreme Court

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 … Continue Reading

Another Whistleblower Bounty From The SEC

On October 30, 2013, the SEC announced that it rendered a $150K award to an anonymous whistleblower whose tips allegedly helped thwart a scheme to defraud investors (click here for the Order).  The bounty equals 30% of the proceeds the SEC collected in the enforcement action—the maximum percentage permitted.    In its press release, the … Continue Reading

SDNY Says No Extraterritorial Application For Dodd-Frank Anti-Retaliation Provision

In Liu v. Siemens A.G., No. 13 Civ. 317 (WHP), slip op. (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 21, 2013), the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York held that the anti-retaliation protections found in Section 922 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 do not apply extraterritorially.  This blog posting … Continue Reading

New Jersey Pay Equity Measure Says No Reprisals Against Employees Requesting Information About Co-Workers

On August 28, 2013, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed A-2648 to add a new non-retaliation pay equity measure to the Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”) (hereinafter, the “amendment” or “law”). The amendment prohibits an employer from retaliating against any employee who requests information concerning the job title, occupational category, rate of compensation (including benefits), gender, … Continue Reading

Law360 Quotes Steve Pearlman on Landmark Supreme Court Ruling Regarding Title VII Retaliation Standard

In a Law360 article (subscription required), Steven J. Pearlman, co-head of Proskauer’s Whistleblower & Retaliation Group, recently commented on the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar, No. 12-484 (June 24, 2013), adopting a “but-for” causation standard for Title VII retaliation claims.  In so ruling, the Court rejected, … Continue Reading

Law360 Quotes Steve Pearlman on “Sweeping Tide” of Whistleblower Claims

In a Law360 article (subscription required), Steven J. Pearlman, co-head of Proskauer’s Whistleblower & Retaliation Group, commented on a “troubling” ruling recently rendered by the Merit Systems Protection Board (“MSPB”) in Day v. Department of Homeland Security, No. DC-1221-12-0528-W-1 (June 26, 2013).  In that decision, the MSPB gave retroactive effect to the broadened definition of “protected … Continue Reading

NJ Jury Renders $2.1 Million Punitive Damage Award in Whistleblower Case

In a recent lawsuit before the Superior Court of New Jersey in Hudson County, a jury unanimously awarded $2.1 million in punitive damages to a hospital lab technician after finding his employer retaliated against him for having reported “improper blood bank staffing and management procedures” in violation of New Jersey’s Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA), … Continue Reading

Law360 Quotes Lloyd Chinn on Tenth Circuit’s Broad Interpretation of SOX Protected Activity

In a recent Law360 article (subscription required), Lloyd Chinn, Co-head of Proskauer’s Whistleblower & Retaliation Group, commented on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeal’s recent decision in Lockheed Martin Corp. v. Dep’t of Labor, et al., that employee complaints do not have to implicate shareholder fraud to constitute protected activity under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of … Continue Reading
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