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 Whistleblowing

Supreme Court Expands Whistleblower Protections Under Sarbanes-Oxley

March 04, 2014

The Supreme Court broadly expanded the scope of whistleblower protections under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act when it ruled that the protections apply to employees of contractors and subcontractors hired by public companies. The decision expands the universe of companies regulated by the protections, "from roughly 5,000 public companies to potentially six million private ones," says Lloyd Chinn, a partner at law firm Proskauer. More inside.
 

OSHA Moves On New Whistleblower Protections for Food Industry

February 13, 2014

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will add new whistleblower protections for food industry workers through a rule that establishes procedures for handling retaliation complaints as part of the Food Safety Modernization Act. In December, OSHA set up an online form to give employees an expedited way to report retaliation and contact the agency for assistance. More inside.
 

Ethics Survey Finds Historically Low Rate of Workplace Misdeeds

February 04, 2014

Workplace misconduct is at an historic low and has significantly declined since 2007, finds a new survey of employees. The percentage of companies viewed as having a strong ethics culture also jumped to 66 percent from 60 percent when the survey was last conducted two years ago. Nearly every type of misconduct, including serious fraud, declined according to the survey. More findings inside.
 

More Clues on SEC Whistleblower Office

February 28, 2012

The SEC now receives an average of seven tips each day to its new Office of the Whistleblower, according to agency officials, and compliance departments are scrambling to shore up their own internal compliance operations in response. "Most of the activity we see is on investigation protocols around hotline calls," says Steve Kuzma of Ernst & Young. More inside.
 

Can Auditors Become Whistleblowers Under the SEC's New Program?

July 12, 2011

The SEC's new whistleblower rules exclude external auditors from participating in its bounty program, which rewards those who alert the SEC to corporate wrongdoing. But auditors still have some avenues to pursue a payout, lawyers say. "The net result is that auditors are able to become whistleblowers in some circumstances," says David Woodcock, a partner with law firm Vinson & Elkins. Details inside.
 

Whistleblower Rules Could Set Off a Rash of Internal Investigations

June 01, 2011

The Securities and Exchange Commission has adopted final rules to reward whistleblowers whose tips lead to successful enforcement actions. While the final version added incentives for employees to report wrongdoing internally, corporate lawyers say the rules will lead to more internal investigations and make them more complex. Details inside.
 

Chamber of Commerce Says Whistleblower Rule 'Undermines' Corporate Compliance

May 25, 2011

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said that the Security and Exchange Commission's final whistleblower rule, which does not require reporting a potential fraud to companies when it is also reported to regulators, is like not calling firefighters to extinguish a raging fire and instead calling lawyers to sue over it. The SEC declined to comment on the Chamber's criticism.
 

SEC Approves Whistleblower Rules; Some Concessions Made

May 25, 2011

The Securities and Exchange Commission adopted its much-anticipated new rules for expanded whistleblower protections and reward bounties today. The rules do nudge whistleblowers to report corporate misconduct first via internal hotlines, but still promise to be a sore point with Corporate America and a temptation for tipsters to run straight to the SEC with news of wrongdoing. More inside.
 

Fraud Reporting Near Record Levels

May 24, 2011

Employees are reporting more incidents of fraud via whistleblower hotlines, with more than 20 percent of calls relating to fraud, misuse of assets, conflicts of interest, or violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Timothy Mohr, a partner at BDO Consulting says that an increase in regulation is "allowing for fraud to be discovered in a more timely fashion." More survey data inside.
 

SEC Pushes Back Whistleblower Rules

April 29, 2011

The SEC has pushed back its release of the final whistleblower protection rules. The original deadline had been April 17, but the agency has now moved the item to the list of rules that it expects to release by July. While the final rules could still come any day, the SEC has missed the April 21 deadline written into the Dodd-Frank Act.
 

Companies Fear Lawsuits, Higher Costs From Whistleblower Rules

April 26, 2011

As the SEC prepares to issue final rules on the whistleblower provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, companies are raising concerns that the regulations will lead to more frivolous claims, more lawsuits, and higher compliance costs. Worse, companies say they will face fraud claims from unnamed sources that will be nearly impossible to investigate. Details inside.
 

Supreme Court Ruling Opens Door to More Retaliation Claims

February 08, 2011

The risk of whistleblower retaliation complaints just increased again, thanks to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of a man who claimed his employer fired him as punishment for a discrimination claim made by his fiancée. Retaliation claims are "easy to make these days, and they just got easier," says John Doran of Greenberg Traurig.
 

Unintended Consequences of the SEC Whistleblower Program

December 13, 2010

The SEC's whistleblower bounty program isn't yet in place, but that hasn't stopped critics from pointing out some unintended consequences that could come from the rule. They say that the SEC will be overwhelmed and that whistleblowers will avoid reporting concerns to internal compliance programs. More details inside.
 

The Countdown to a Whistleblower Bounty Begins

November 09, 2010

Compliance executives, heres your chance: The Securities and Exchange Commissions proposed rules to pay whistleblowers who report securities violations are now out for comment.
 

Proposed Whistleblower Rules Promote Internal Reporting

November 03, 2010

As we have discussed thoroughly here at Whistleblower Week Compliance Week, new whistleblower provisions were included in the Dodd-Frank Act that are expected to have major effects on both public companies and the SEC. Today, the Commission unanimously voted to propose a whistleblower program under Dodd-Frank that will to reward individuals...
 

Notes of Concern on Whistleblowing

September 01, 2010

My friend the Corporate Secretary called me the other day. He works at a consumer products company, and we chat every now and then about various compliance and governance issues. On his mind this time: the new whistleblower reward program established by the Dodd-Frank Act, and how it might ruin...
 

U.K. Protects Audit and Reporting Whistleblowers

October 01, 2009

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