By Christopher Robertson and Paul E. Freehling

The U.S. district courts are currently split on the question of whether the anti-retaliation provisions of the federal Dodd-Frank Act (“DFA”) apply to employees who disclose their employer’s alleged securities violations to company officials but do not report the claimed violations to the SEC.  Just in May 2014,

By Kerry M. Mohan and Craig B. Simonsen

In a remarkable announcement, OSHA Administrator Dr. David Michaels has just issued a Decision on Referring Untimely 11(c) Complainants to the National Labor Relations Board (Decision), OM-14-60 (May 21, 2014).

This announcement comes just weeks after Dr. Michaels testified at a hearing before the Senate Subcommittee

By Linda Schoonmaker and Ada Dolph

On March 5, 2014, we issued a Client Alert that the Supreme Court had issued its decision in Lawson v. FMR LLC, 134 S.Ct. 1158 (2014), greatly expanding the scope of the whistleblower protections in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (“SOX”) to encompass any employee of private

By Jim Beyer

There is a split in the federal courts over the scope of Dodd-Frank’s whistleblower protections that may eventually reach the Supreme Court. The question is if there are only internal reports of potential securities law violations is that activity protected whistleblowing under the Dodd-Frank Act’s anti-retaliation provision or must the potential violations

By Clark Smith

A One-Two Punch For Employers 

Last July, we alerted you to a Fifth Circuit decision that limited the whistleblower protections of the Dodd‑Frank Act of 2010. In that case, the court held that Dodd‑Frank protects whistleblowers only if they report a securities-law violation directly to the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”), as opposed to just making an internal complaint. This month, in Villanueva v. U.S. Department of Labor, the Fifth Circuit published a decision curtailing the reach of whistleblower protections under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“SOX”). Taken in tandem, these two decisions are welcome news for energy employers because they significantly restrict the reach of whistleblower protections, particularly for employees working outside the U.S., who may be disinclined to make complaints directly to the SEC or who may rely on alleged violations of foreign laws to make their case.

SOX protects employees of publicly-traded companies who engage in certain protected activities such as reporting violations of certain federal laws, such as mail and wire fraud.  SOX creates a private cause of action for employees who have been retaliated against for engaging in such protected activities. Last week, in Villanueva, the Fifth Circuit ruled that SOX’s whistleblower provision only protects reporting violations of U.S. federal law. 
Continue Reading Another Victory for Energy Employers: The Fifth Circuit Limits SOX Whistleblower Suits to Violations of U.S. Federal Law

As our Seyfarth colleagues who publish the Environmental and Safety Law Update recently posted, potential tipsters have fresh incentive to come forward thanks to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s recent announcement that it awarded an unprecedented $14 million to an anonymous whistleblower. 

Though similar recoveries or bounties are not available under the most frequently

By: Pinny Goldberg and Peter Walker

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in a stark departure from every other court to previously consider the issue, has ruled that potential whistleblowers are only protected from retaliation under the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010’s whistleblower-protection provision if they report a violation of the securities laws