By determining that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“SOX” or the “Act”) preempts California’s ethical rules, the Northern District of California ruled that an in-house attorney can rely on privileged communications and confidential information to the extent they are reasonably necessary to assert a claim or defense. Wadler v. Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc., et al., No. 3:15-cv-02356

On August 30, 2016, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced that it surpassed the $100 million mark in monetary awards for whistleblowers. Through the enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (“Dodd-Frank Act”), Congress established the whistleblower program to incentivize whistleblowers

There have been a series of legal battles since 2009 between Tyco Electronics Corp. and its former accounts payable manager, Jeffrey Wiest, fired for sexually harassing and engaging in inappropriate sexual relations with several female subordinates. In the latest skirmish, a Third Circuit panel unanimously backed Tyco, holding that Wiest was, in fact, discharged for

A federal appeals court ruling on the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“DFA”) may prompt U.S. Supreme Court review as to when an employee whistleblower is entitled to the benefits of the anti-retaliation provisions of the DFA.

In a two-to-one decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in New

It is vital that all employers investigate internal complaints that may be covered under a variety of laws, including EEO laws (for example, Title VII, ADA, ADEA, and state EEO laws), whistleblower laws such as, Sarbanes-Oxley, Dodd Frank (and state whistleblower laws), OSHA, the False Claims Act, and the NLRA. Additionally, employers conduct investigations in

Continuing a trend we reported in January 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice announced another multi-million dollar settlement of alleged False Claims Act (“FCA”) violations.  In this case, Halifax Hospital Medical Center and Halifax Staffing, Inc. (collectively “Halifax”) agreed to pay $85 million to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by submitting

On October 1, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that an unidentified whistleblower, “who voluntarily provided original information” to the SEC “that led to the successful enforcement” action against an undisclosed company, has been awarded a record $14 million.  According to the SEC, the award “recognizes the significance of the information that the Claimant provided to the Commission, the assistance the Claimant provided in the Commission action, and the law enforcement interest in deterring violations by granting awards.”

This is the third such award the SEC has made under the whistleblower provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (DFA) since the statute’s passage in 2010.  The others were in the amounts of $50,000 and a little more than $25,000.

The latest record award is no surprise to employers and their lawyers who have been monitoring the SEC’s actions under the DFA’s “bounty” provisions.
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