Category: Retaliation

Whistle

Wells Fargo owes $5.4 Million for Whistleblower Retaliation

OSHA recently awarded a whistleblower $5.4 million in damages against his former employer, Wells Fargo. This award arises under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), which contains a strong anti-retaliation provision. In this case, the whistleblower was a bank manager who was terminated after reporting separate incidents of bank, mail and wire fraud by his subordinate bankers….




The Same Action Defense Under SOX is a Daunting Burden

Whistleblower retaliation claims under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) are governed by a two stage burden-shifting framework. In the first step the whistleblower must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that her protected activity was a contributing factor in the adverse action taken against her. The second step is an affirmative defense, commonly referred to…




Article on In-House Attorney Whistleblowers

The recent $10 million jury award to a general counsel turned whistleblower in Wadler v. Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc., Case No. 15-cv-02356 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 20, 2016), which I will address in a deeper dive in a few days, highlights the complexities of whistleblower claims by in-house counsel. I recently published an article on the very issue…




8th Circuit Adopts Sylvester Standard for Protected Activity Under SOX

In June 2016 the Eighth Circuit became the latest court to adopt the more lenient and Whistleblower friendly standard for protected activity under the anti-retaliation provision of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). In Beacom v. Oracle America, Inc., 825 F.3d 376 (8th Cir. 2016) the court addressed a case brought by a former Vice President of…




Retention of Employer Documents by Whistleblowers Part 5—Retaining Documents as Protected Activity Under the False Claims Act

A whistleblower’s acquisition and dissemination of documents may also be protected or privileged under the recently strengthened anti-retaliation and whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act (FCA). The FCA arguably provides the broadest protection for individuals who collect and retain documents that relate to their employer’s wrongdoing.  Under the FCA, retention of documents has been…




Retention of Employer Documents by Whistleblowers Part 3—Using the Information

After the whistleblower has already collected the documents, and assuming that he or she still retains the documents, the next question is what can you do with the information collected? The type of information may constrain how the documents may be used.  For instance, many courts are hesitant to allow a plaintiff to use privileged…