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Lawson v. FMR: Private Contractors of Public Companies Fall Within SOX Anti-Retaliation Provision

 

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1063 Hits

Court Enforces Arbitration Agreement in Dodd-Frank Act Retaliation Case

The court in Wussow v. Bruker Corp., decided on June 28, 2017, ruled that whistleblower claims brought under the Dodd-Frank Act are subject to mandatory arbitration. 

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Jury Awards Whistleblower Over $25 Million in Sarbanes-Oxley Retaliation Case

In April, a Los Angeles County jury awarded $22.4 million in punitive damages (that was later reduced to $2.27 million) along with $2.7 million in lost past and future wages to Steven Babyak in a whistleblower retaliation and wrongful termination case against Cardiovascular Systems, Inc (CSI). Babyak, a former sales manager for the company, argued that he was retaliated against, culminating in termination, after making complaints about a hostile work environment and violations of the Anti-Kickback Act and securities laws under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The

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3160 Hits

False Claims Act Whistleblowers Protected Even Without a Successful Qui Tam Lawsuit

The False Claims Act contains a newly broadened anti-retaliation provision that protects whistleblowers who take actions in furtherance of a Qui Tam action, or in an attempt to stop one or more violations of the False Claims Act. This essentially means that employees and others are protected when they collect information in preparation for a Qui Tam lawsuit as a relator, and when they internally blow-the-whistle on what they reasonably believe to be violations of the FCA. Importantly, courts have clarified that generally whistleblowers need not be correct in their reasonable belief, in order to be protected from retaliation.

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2025 Hits

Bio-Rad Whistleblower Protected for “Reasonable” Incorrect Claim

After only three hours of deliberation, a federal jury in San Francisco determined that Bio- Rad, a life science company, retaliated against its former General Counsel, Sanford Wadler, for reporting violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Wadler alleged he was fired for reporting possible FCPA violations after he found documents showing Bio-Rad’s distribution of free products in China. Wadler was fired from the company in June 2013.

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Whistleblower Statutes Administered by OSHA

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is responsible for investigating and making at least preliminary decisions on a number of whistleblower claims. Many whistleblower statutes have an administrative exhaustion requirement that forces whistleblowers to first file a complaint with OSHA, as a prerequisite to ever filing a lawsuit in federal court. Some whistleblower statutes also only permit a whistleblower to litigate his or her claims through the administrative process, without ever being able to bring a lawsuit in federal court. Consequently, it is imperative that whistleblowers who have suffered retaliation timely file their complaint with OSHA, since failure to file a complaint within the prescribed timelines will forfeit even a meritorious claim.

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940 Hits

Fired for Facebook Posts: Social Media Postings May Constitute Protected “Concerted Activity”

Under a series of recent decisions by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), employees who are retaliated against for posting comments on social media websites regarding work conditions may be protected by Sections 7 and 8 of the National Labor Relations Act.  Under these sections employees have the right to engage in concerted activity for the purpose of “mutual aid or protection,” regarding work conditions, and employers cannot retaliate against employees for exercising such rights.  This protection applies regardless of whether the employees are unionized or not.  In one particular case an employee called her boss a “scumbag” on her Facebook page after she had been reprimanded about a customer complaint, which drew various positive responses from her co-workers.  Such activity was found by the NLRB to be protected activity, as it concerned the conditions of the employee’s employment and was joined in by other employees.  The real issue with such postings is usually whether the posting is actually a comment regarding work conditions, or whether it strays into the unprotected area of “opprobrious” comments.  “Opprobrious” comments are often characterized as mere gripes and sudden outbursts against management.  However, regardless of the details, the NLRB’s recent decisions represent a shift in application of the decades old protections for concerted activity to a modern realm of organization and communication.  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media websites are the newest arenas for collective action of all sorts.  One need not look further than the recent Occupy movement and the revolutions across the Arab world for confirmation of this.  Thus it is not surprising that the NLRB would defend those that engage in protected activity in these arenas from illegal employment actions.  Individuals who have been terminated or otherwise retaliated against for work related postings on social media websites should contact Ogborn Mihm LLP to discuss their potential claims.

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2637 Hits
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