Category Archives: Whistleblower

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Ninth Circuit Widens Circuit Split on Whether Dodd-Frank Protects Internal Whistleblowing

Introduction On March 8, 2017, in Somers v. Digital Realty Trust Inc., No.15-cv-17352 (9th Cir., March 8, 2017), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s denial of the defendant’s motion to dismiss a whistleblower claim brought under the Dodd-Frank Act’s (“DFA”)’s anti-retaliation provision. In a 2-1 decision, the majority endorsed the approach … Continue Reading

SEC Scrutinizes Severance Agreements for Compliance With Dodd-Frank

Recent SEC Fines On Aug. 16, 2016, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it had issued its second fine in as many weeks concerning a company’s use of severance agreements that contain confidentiality and/or covenant-not-to-sue or release provisions that allegedly violate SEC whistleblower Rules. These recent SEC charges arise from SEC Rules, … Continue Reading

Whistle(blow) While You Work: Supreme Court Rules That “Watchdog” Employees Are Protected Under CEPA

On July 15, 2015, the New Jersey Supreme Court settled the debate over whether employees who are responsible for monitoring and reporting employer compliance may seek whistleblower protection under New Jersey’s Conscientious Employee Protection Act, N.J.S.A. § 34:19-1 et seq. (“CEPA”), and if so, under what circumstances. Ultimately, the court in Lippman v. Ethicon held … Continue Reading

Gaining Whistleblower Protection: Engaging in Activity Protected by Dodd-Frank is Not Enough

Written by Michael J. Slocum and Eric B. Sigda. A district court recently ruled that an employee simply engaging in activity protected by the Dodd-Frank Act’s anti-retaliation provision is insufficient to gain whistleblower protection. The employee must first qualify as a whistleblower within the Act’s definition. The authors of this Greenberg Traurig Alert discuss the … Continue Reading

Will Your Company Be Wearing New SOX? – Supreme Court Expands Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Protection to Employees of Privately-Held Companies

In a highly-anticipated decision having far-ranging impact for privately owned employers, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the whistleblower protections under § 1514A of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (“SOX”) extend not only to employees of publicly-held companies, but also to the employees of the privately-held “contractors” who provide services to public companies.  Lawson v. … Continue Reading

Employers Guilty Until Proven Innocent? Third Circuit Lowers the Bar for Employees Claiming Retaliation for Certain Protected Whistleblower Activities

In a decision that may have far-ranging impact for employers accused of retaliating against whistleblower-employees, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that an employee whose evidence was “entirely circumstantial,” and who did not provide “any evidence” of his employer’s alleged retaliatory motive, nonetheless presented enough evidence to survive summary judgment. Araujo v. NJ Transit Rail Operations, Inc., No. 12-2148 (3rd Cir. February 19, 2013). While the Araujo decision itself comes specifically from the federal whistleblower laws applicable to the railroad industry, the Third Circuit’s analysis of the applicable legal burdens may well apply to employers in such diverse industries as commercial trucking, airlines, maritime, automobile manufacture, and consumer products generally, as well as any employer covered by Sarbanes-Oxley.… Continue Reading

Whistleblowers and Dodd-Frank

There have been many significant legislative enactments in the last couple of years that are critical to employers (i.e., the ADA Amendments Act, the new health care law). The most recent enactment is the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (commonly referred to as the Dodd-Frank Act or Dodd-Frank). We blogged about Dodd-Frank … Continue Reading

Discipline of Employees Who Have Engaged in Protected Activity

Lots of laws prohibit an employer from firing or taking some other adverse action against an employee based on the employee’s protected conduct, status, or activity. But what happens when you discover an employee’s misconduct only because he or she engaged in protected activity? The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently answered … Continue Reading
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