Whistleblower Law Blog

The Need for Whistleblower Protections at the Office for Human Research Protections

October 19, 2017
According to a recent investigative report by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG), employees’ fear of reprisal may limit the Office of Human Research Protections’ (OHRP) ability to enforce protections for human subjects at research institutions with HHS-funded grants or contracts...

What Is the Duty Speech Doctrine and How Does It Affect Whistleblower Protections?

October 12, 2017
It is beyond dispute that employees who blow the whistle on unlawful conduct should be protected from retaliatory personnel actions. Because these workers often risk their careers to shed light on matters affecting the public interest, a legal system that permitted employers to silence whistleblowers could cause substantial...

Third Circuit Declares that New Jersey Whistleblower Protections Are More Than “Skin-Deep”

October 4, 2017
In a recent victory for whistleblowers, a prominent federal appellate court reiterated its expansive interpretation of New Jersey state whistleblower protections when it revived a patent lawyer’s lawsuit against his former employer. In Trzaska v. L’Oréal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit overturned a trial court’...

Study Proves the Value of Whistleblowers in Bringing Down Fraudsters

August 31, 2017
A recent study published in the Journal of Accounting Research examines whether the participation of a whistleblower affects the outcome of an enforcement action against companies that commit financial fraud. The study seeks to quantify the impact of a whistleblower’s tip or assistance during an investigation on the final...

AG Sessions Vows to Continue Enforcement of FCPA

July 6, 2017
Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently affirmed the administration’s commitment to enforce the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), the anti-bribery law that President Donald Trump had once ridiculed as a “horrible law” before he ran for office. On April 24, Sessions addressed attendees at the Ethics and Compliance...

Ninth Circuit Whistleblower Case a Reminder that Small Changes to Strategy Can Have Big Impacts on Outcomes

June 20, 2017
In Rocheleau v. Microsemi Corp., Inc., No. 15-56029, --- F. App’x ---, 2017 WL 677563 (9th Cir. Feb. 21, 2017), the Ninth Circuit affirmed the decision of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to dismiss a plaintiff’s claims under the whistleblower protection provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act and the...

ARB Allows Affordable Care Act Whistleblower Claim to Proceed

June 14, 2017
When the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) became law in 2010, Congress created new anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation protections for all employees, that are particularly helpful to healthcare workers. This provision has received relatively little attention, including in the recent congressional debate on...

Wrongly Terminated Wells Fargo Employee Wins $5.4M Whistleblower Award

June 8, 2017
On April 3, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that it has ordered Wells Fargo to reinstate and compensate a whistleblower who was terminated after reporting suspected fraudulent acts in 2010. The whistleblower, whose identity has not been released, is reported to have been a Los Angeles-based...

Could This Maryland SOX Whistleblower Case Be a Sign of Things to Come?

May 25, 2017
In Olekanma v. Wolfe, No. CV-DKC-15-0984, 2017 WL 784121 (D. Md. Mar. 1, 2017), Maryland’s federal district court granted a motion to dismiss claims brought under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) and the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 by Samuel Olekanma, a corrections officer at the Jessup Correctional Institution (“JCI”). Mr....

How has the SCOTUS Escobar Decision Influenced FCA Suits?

May 16, 2017
Ten months after the U.S. Supreme Court issued a blockbuster False Claims Act decision in Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar, the Court’s clarified interpretation of the False Claims Act (FCA) is proving to be more favorable to defendants than to whistleblowers. In June 2016, the Court resolved a...

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