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Employment Issues

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to employment issues facing whistleblowers. You may also be interested in our pages:

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Energy Department Whistleblower Finally Gets Justice

Posted  03/24/17
By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team Sandra Black did the right thing — and was fired.  As a highly rated and decorated employee-concerns manager at Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, Black was a channel for staffers to report safety, management and other issues at the nuclear storage complex in South Carolina.  But she found some of her reports were rejected by managers more interested in cover-ups.  She blew the whistle and...

August 16, 2016

California-based health insurance provider Health Net Inc. will pay a $340,000 penalty for illegally using severance agreements which required outgoing employees to waive their ability to obtain monetary awards from the SEC’s whistleblower program.  According to the SEC’s order, Health Net violated federal securities laws by requiring departing employees to waive their right to file applications for SEC whistleblower awards in exchange for severance payments and other post-employment benefits.  SEC

August 10, 2016

Atlanta-based building products distributor BlueLinx Holdings Inc. will pay a $265,000 penalty to settle charges that it violated securities laws by requiring outgoing employees to sign severance agreements that waived their rights to monetary recovery should they file a charge or complaint with the SEC or other federal agencies.  According to the SEC’s order, BlueLinx added the monetary recovery prohibition to all of its severance agreements in mid-2013, nearly two years after the SEC’s adoption of Rule 21F-17, which prohibits any action to impede someone from communicating with the SEC about possible securities law violations.  SEC

April 1, 2015

Houston-based global technology and engineering firm KBR Inc.agreed to pay a $130,000 penalty to settle SEC charges of violating whistleblower protection Rule 21F-17 under the Dodd-Frank Act which prohibits confidentiality agreements that discourage protected whistleblowing activity.  It is the SEC’s first enforcement action against a company for using improperly restrictive language in confidentiality agreements with the potential to stifle the whistleblowing process.  At issue was KBR’s requirement that witnesses in certain internal investigations sign confidentiality statements with language warning that they could face discipline and even be fired if they discussed the matters with outside parties without the prior approval of KBR’s legal department.  As part of the settlement, KBR amended its confidentiality statement by adding language making clear that employees are free to report possible violations to the SEC and other federal agencies without KBR approval or fear of retaliation.  Whistleblower Insider

SEC Charges KBR with Violating Whistleblower Protection Rule

Posted  04/2/15
By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team The SEC yesterday announced its first enforcement action against a company for including improperly restrictive language in confidentiality agreements that had the potential to stifle whistleblowers.  According to the SEC, Houston-based global technology and engineering firm KBR Inc. violated Dodd-Frank Rule 21F-17 whistleblower protections by requiring witnesses in internal investigations interviews to sign confidentiality statements warning them that they could be disciplined or fired if they...

Department of Defense Moves To Bar Anti-Whistleblower Confidentiality Provisions

Posted  02/12/15
By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team Not all companies have embraced the rise of whistleblowers as a vehicle to root out fraud within their ranks.  In fact, many companies have gone in the exact opposite direction, doing everything they can to discourage whistleblowers from stepping forward.  One popular mechanism a growing number of companies are using to silence would-be whistleblowers are so-called "confidentiality agreements" which prevent or deter employees from...

February 2, 2015

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced his office obtained two separate judgments of nearly $800,000 against Emstar Pizza, a Papa John’s franchisee, and its owner and operator for underpaying employees. The violations include shaving workers’ pay by under-reporting hours and rounding down hours worked to the nearest whole hour increment (and paying nothing for fractions of hours), as well as nonpayment of overtime premiums—all in violation of New York State Labor Law. NY

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