Whistleblower Law Blog

Vague Complaints Fail to Add Up to STAA Violation, According to ARB

April 11, 2017
The Administrative Review Board (ARB) of the Department of Labor (DOL) recently ruled that a transportation worker’s general complaint that a vehicle is unsafe will not constitute protected activity under federal law. In Leaks v. Arctic Glacier, ARB No. 15-079, ALJ No. 2014-STA-80 (ARB Feb. 7, 2017), the ARB reviewed a...

Congress Aims to Strengthen Federal Employee Whistleblower Protections under New Administration

March 28, 2017
Amid reports that the Trump administration is silencing dissent in the executive branch, it may be surprising to learn that protections for federal whistleblowers could soon be expanding significantly. In November 2016, the House passed the Follow the Rules Act (“FRA”) to protect federal employees who refuse to obey an...

Whistleblowing Attorney Can Use Privileged Information as Evidence in Retaliation Case, Court Rules

March 3, 2017
When an in-house attorney’s duty of confidentiality to a company seems to conflict with whistleblower protections, which rules prevail? In a December 2016 decision in Wadler v. Bio–Rad Laboratories, Inc., a California federal district court ruled that, at least under the federal Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) and Dodd-Frank acts, federal...

IRS Whistleblower Office Has Record Year, According to Annual Report

February 28, 2017
In 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) whistleblower reward program marked its 10th anniversary. The program has helped ensure that businesses and wealthy individuals pay their fair share of taxes by rewarding people who come forward to report underpayment and tax evasion.  Under the program’s guidelines, whistleblowers...

Study Supports Claim that Whistleblowing Improves Business Practices

February 8, 2017
Many people have strong opinions about employees who speak out about wrongdoing or illegal activity in the workplace. To some, whistleblowers are heroes whose courage against corporate misconduct is a public service that benefits all of us. To others, whistleblowers are mercenaries who seek fame or fortune at the expense of...

What Does Trump's Presidency Mean for Dodd-Frank Whistleblowers?

January 19, 2017
As one of his early acts as president, Donald Trump has promised to dismantle the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the landmark legislation Congress passed in reaction to the 2008 financial crisis. As of this writing, the soon-to-be inaugurated President Trump has provided nothing more than general...

OSHA Final Rule Protects Automotive Whistleblowers Under MAP-21

January 12, 2017
In December 2016, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that it had issued a final rule regarding the enforcement of retaliation protections under the Moving Ahead for Progress in 21st Century Act (“MAP-21”), 49 U.S.C. §30171. MAP-21 was enacted in 2012 to provide whistleblower protection to...

Whistleblowers Receive Millions for Reporting Major Pharmaceutical Kickback Scheme

January 4, 2017
Earlier this fall, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a $28 million settlement with Omnicare Inc., the largest nursing home pharmacy company in the United States (now owned by CVS Health Corporation). The settlement resolved multi-year litigation originally brought by private whistleblowers as a qui tam lawsuit under the...

Seventh Circuit Reconsiders Case in Light of Supreme Court’s 'Implied False Certification' Holding

December 20, 2016
Although the Supreme Court in Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar, 136 S. Ct. 1989 (2016) widened the scope of potential claims that qui tam relators may bring under the False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. § 3729 et seq., this expansion did not revive the relator’s claim in United States ex rel....

SCOTUS Rules Breach of Seal Requirement Doesn't Sink FCA Whistleblower Case

December 13, 2016
On Dec. 6, the Supreme Court of the United States decided State Farm Fire and Casualty Company v. U.S. ex rel. Rigsby, an important False Claims Act (FCA) case that could have a major impact on whistleblowers and their lawyers. The Court ruled 8-0 in favor of the whistleblowers, with Justice Kennedy writing the Court’s opinion...

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