Whistleblower Law Blog

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...

Ninth Circuit Sides with Whistleblowers on Scope of Dodd-Frank Protections

May 5, 2017
In an encouraging development for whistleblowers, a prominent federal appellate court recently expanded anti-retaliation protections for workers in the financial industry.  In Somers v. Digital Realty Trust, Inc., a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the Dodd-Frank Act’s anti-...

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...

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