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Whistleblower Protection Laws

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to laws that protect whistleblowers from retaliation, but do not include whistleblower reward provisions. You may also be interested in the following pages:

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December 19, 2016

Virginia-based technology company NeuStar Inc. will pay $180,000 to settle charges involving its severance agreements that impeded at least one former employee from communicating with the SEC.  The SEC’s order found that NeuStar violated a whistleblower protection rule by routinely entering into severance agreements that contained a broad non-disparagement clause forbidding former employees from engaging with the SEC.  Former employees could be compelled to forfeit all but $100 of their severance pay for breaching the clause.  The severance agreements were used with at least 246 departing employees between 2011 and 2015.  NeuStar voluntarily revised its severance agreements promptly after the SEC began investigating and agreed to make reasonable efforts to inform those who signed the severance agreements that NeuStar does not prohibit former employees from communicating any concerns about potential violations of law or regulation to the SEC.  SEC

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...

The Not So Friendly Skies: When "Saying Something" Leads to Retaliation

Posted  01/8/15
By Marlene Koury We all know the motto: if you see something, say something. The thirteen senior United flight attendants making the news this week saw something, said something, and, as alleged in their complaint filed earlier this week, were fired in retaliation. On July 14, 2014, while preparing to depart San Francisco with a nearly full 747 plane bound for Hong Kong, the attendants became aware that someone...

Sixth Circuit Finds Job Applicants Not Covered By FCA Whistleblower Retaliation Provisions

Posted  12/4/14
By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team The whistleblower retaliation provisions of the False Claims Act offer broad relief to "employees" who are terminated, suspended, harassed or otherwise discriminated against by their employers for engaging in protected whistleblowing activity.  Congress amended the statute in 2009 to expand these provisions beyond employees to also reach "contractors" and "agents" of a...

Fifth Circuit Rules Disclosing Identity of Whistleblower Illegal Whistleblower Retaliation Under SOX

Posted  11/20/14
By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team And yet another important decision on the scope of the whistleblower retaliation provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX).  This one by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Halliburton, Inc. v. Administrative Review Board.  Before the Court was the question of whether Halliburton's outing of an employee who complained to the SEC violated the whistleblower protections...

Second Circuit Clarifies Reach of Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Retaliation Protections

Posted  08/14/14
By Gordon Schnell What it takes to make out a whistleblower retaliation claim under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act just got a little clearer thanks to the Second Circuit decision last Friday in Nielsen v. AECOM Technology Corp.  There, the Court wrestled with exactly what kind of complaint a whistleblower needs to make to be protected under the statute enacted in the wake of the mighty Enron debacle.  In doing so, the...

Sixth Circuit Rules on Mandatory Arbitration of Whistleblower Retaliation Claims

Posted  05/29/14
By Gordon Schnell Mandatory arbitration clauses are all the rage these days with more and more companies insisting on these provisions in their dealings with customers and employees. It is no wonder why. Arbitrations are typically much less expensive, intrusive and protracted than litigating through the courts. Perhaps even more importantly, they can be used to bar class actions and discourage lawsuits altogether...

Supreme Court Takes Broad View of Whistleblower Protection

Posted  03/6/14
By Jason Enzler A Supreme Court decision this week settled a brewing conflict among authorities on who can benefit from the anti-retaliation protections for whistleblowers in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX).  And the outcome is good for whistleblowers.   The Supreme Court ruled that employees of private contractors and subcontractors who provide services to public companies can be protected whistleblowers...

Legislative Update: Proposed Amendment to Military Whistleblower Protection Act

Posted  12/19/13
whistleblower_claim_stepsBy the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team The House last week approved section 1714 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which would revamp what many believe to be the weak and ineffective Military Whistleblower Protection Act of 1998 (“MWPA”).  This amendment, if passed, would strengthen the protections afforded to those in the military who report sexual assault, fraud or other misconduct.  It was...

Fifth Circuit Eliminates Key Whistleblower Retaliation Protections Under Dodd-Frank – A Pyrrhic Victory for Corporations

Posted  08/29/13
By Gordon Schnell In a legal ruling that many corporations are surely celebrating, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has significantly narrowed the scope of who qualifies as a whistleblower under the Dodd-Frank Act.  It is only those individuals who actually provide information to the government (through the SEC or CFTC).  If a whistleblower only reports internally, to a supervisor or through the company's...

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