Category: Whistleblower

The Limit of Whistleblowers

The Supreme Court just decided a case that limits the whistleblower anti-retaliation provisions in Dodd-Frank. The Court handed down its decision in Digital Realty Trust v. Somers. Dodd-Frank defines “whistleblower” as a person who provides “information relating to a violation of the securities laws to the Securities and Commission.” 15 U. S. C. §78u–6(a)(6). A

The SEC Strikes Back Again on Whistleblower Pretaliation

Compliance officers need to take a look at severance agreements. The Securities and Exchange has blown up another company for including provisions in its severance agreements that may have impeded employees from communicating information to the SEC. NeuStar Inc. used severance agreements that contained a broad non-disparagement clause forbidding former employees from engaging “in any communication

Whistleblowers Power Up

Two whistleblower stories caught my attention. Both are follow-ups to previous stories. The Securities and Exchange Commission previously announced that it thought poorly of severance agreements that restricted the former employees from being whistleblowers. Last year, the SEC brought an action against KBR for restrictive employee agreements that stifled whistleblowing. That was in the context

The Rise of the Professional Whistleblower

With the proliferation of whistleblower regimes at regulatory agencies we should not be surprised that there are professional whistleblowers. The Securities and Exchange Commission gave its blessing earlier this year when it granted a whistleblower award to a company outsider. This week the SEC and the DOJ announced a half billion dollar settlement with State

Whistleblower Revealed

Several weeks ago the Securities and Exchange Commission handed out a big whistleblower award to an industry expert who lacked the first person knowledge of wrongdoing. That whistleblower has been revealed. The SEC itself has a strict rule on disclosing the identity of whistleblowers. Eric Hunsader said the Securities and Exchange Commission is sending him

Could Whistleblowing Be The New Short-Selling?

The Securities and Exchange Commission made an unusual announcement this week, announcing a whistleblower award to a company outsider. Could this been a new way to profit from companies engaged in fraud? Is this a new alternative to short selling? Earlier this week, the SEC announced a $700,000 award to a company outsider who conducted

Whistleblower Retaliation

A year ago, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Paradigm Capital Management with engaging in prohibited transactions and then retaliating against the head trader who reported the trading activity to the SEC. It was the first time the SEC filed a case under its new authority to bring anti-retaliation enforcement actions. Now it has handed

Compliance Officer Earns Million-Dollar Whistleblower Award

I’m not sure if this is good news or bad news. In August 2014 the SEC announced a modest whistleblower award of $300,000 to an unnamed company employee “who performed audit and compliance functions and reported wrongdoing to the SEC after the company failed to take action when the employee reported it internally. There is

SEC Action for Stifling Whistleblowers in Confidentiality Agreements

A story surfaced a few weeks ago that the Securities and Exchange Commission was taking a close look at employment agreements that limited the actions of whistleblowers. The story behind the story came out. The SEC brought an action against KBR, Inc. for violating whistleblower protection Rule 21F-17 enacted under the Dodd-Frank Act. KBR required

The SEC, Whistleblowers, and Employment Agreements

The Securities and Exchange Commission is taking a look at the backlash in corporate America over the increased whistleblower regime. As with all new regulations, businesses will change practices to meet the requirements and take steps to lessen the impact. According to a story in the Wall Street Journal, the SEC is looking at these