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wrongdoing 33 articles

Senators Seek To Expand U.S. Energy Department Whistleblower Protections

Three U.S. Senators introduced legislation Monday that boosts whistleblower protections for U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) employees. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. called for expanded whistleblower protections after a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report documented a culture of intimidation and retaliation against employees within the DOE. Currently, DOE whistleblower protections are restricted to the disclosure of safety violations only. The proposed bill would add disclosures about waste, fraud, and abuse to the list of protected whistleblower activities within the agency. The bill would also require DOE contractors to pay the legal and administrative costs in ... Read More

Total SEC Whistleblower Awards Exceed $100 Million

The total amount the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has awarded to whistleblowers surpassed the $100 million mark in August after the agency paid more than $22 million to a former Monsanto executive who tipped off the agency to financial fraud. The $22.5-million award was the second-largest the SEC has paid to a whistleblower since the inception of its whistleblower program in 2011. The largest award, totaling $30 million, was paid to a single whistleblower in 2014. To date, SEC enforcement actions resulting from whistleblower tips have led to more than $500 million in financial remedies, much of which has ... Read More

SEC Fines Atlanta Company For Making Employees Waive Whistleblower Rights

An Atlanta-based building products distributor has agreed to pay a $265,000 penalty to settle charges that it violated securities laws by using severance agreements requiring outgoing employees to waive their rights to a monetary recovery should they file a charge or complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or another federal agency. According to the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, BlueLinx Holdings Inc. added the monetary recovery prohibition to all of its severance agreements in mid-2013, nearly two years after the SEC’s adoption of Rule 21F-17, which prohibits companies from trying to gag potential whistleblowers. The Agency is cracking ... Read More

July 30 set as Fourth Annual National Whistleblower Day

The United States observes its fourth consecutive National Whistleblower Day on July 30, 2016. The day is a special commemoration of the nation’s very first whistleblower law, enacted 238 years ago today, but it is also a celebration of all the men and women who have courageously called out fraud and other misconduct committed against the U.S. Government and American taxpayers. In 1777, a group of sailors and marines who witnessed the unlawful torture of British Prisoners of War by the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Navy voiced their objections to the wrongdoing. The men involved paid a heavy price; they were fired from the ... Read More

Whistleblower Sues New Mexico State Agency For Retaliation

A New Mexico state employee is suing the state and several officials of the General Services Department alleging they retaliated against her for reporting problems with digital security and unfair pay. Heather Burke, who provided troubleshooting and technical support to state employees, claims her bosses at the General Services Department (GSD) sent her a termination notice while she was on medical leave undergoing radiation treatment for breast cancer. Ms. Burke alleges that prior to her medical leave, she repeatedly raised concerns with agency officials about policy violations and unfair pay compared to her male colleagues, but instead of addressing the problems ... Read More

NYPD Officer Close To Settling Retaliation Lawsuit

An NYPD officer who sued the city for allegedly retaliating against him after he complained of a crooked quota system is expected to settle the case for $280,000, his lawyers said Monday. Seventeen-year NYPD veteran Craig Matthews, who was hailed as hero in 2012 when he and his colleagues took down a killer gunman near the Empire State Building, sued the city that same year. His whistleblower lawsuit alleged his commanders assigned him to undesirable duties, gave him poor performance reviews, and denied him overtime and leave as retribution for voicing his concerns about a quota system that led to unjustified stops ... Read More

UC Davis Withdraws Appeal, Pays Whistleblower $1.7 Million

The University of California Davis has withdrawn its appeal and will pay a former administrative nurse $1.7 million to resolve a whistleblower retaliation case that has been in litigation for more than five years. Former UC Davis administrative research nurse Janet Keyzer sued the university in 2010 in Sacramento Superior Court, alleging it unlawfully retaliated against her for repeatedly voicing concerns to her superiors that the research project on which she was working, which evaluated pain diagnosis and treatment among disabled state prisoners, did not meet research requirements and ethical standards involving human subjects. Soon after she began expressing her concerns, ... Read More

U.S. Judge Finds Idaho’s Anti-Whistleblower Ag Gag Law Unconstitutional

A federal judge in Idaho has struck down that state’s anti-whistleblower Ag Gag law, ruling the legislation unconstitutional. The law glided through the Idaho legislature last year and became law, effectively making it punishable by fines and imprisonment for whistleblowers to expose animal abuse, deplorable factory conditions, and other wrongdoing rife within the dairy and meat industries. “The effect of the statute will be to suppress speech by undercover investigators and whistleblowers concerning topics of great public importance: the safety of the public food supply, the safety of agricultural workers, the treatment and health of farm animals, and the impact ... Read More

Whistleblower gets $300,000 award for providing tips to SEC

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has awarded a whistleblower $300,000 for exposing wrongdoing within a securities company. According to the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower, the employee had audit and compliance functions within the company. The employee reported the misconduct to company supervisors repeatedly, but they failed to take appropriate action to correct the situation. The award is the first the SEC has given to a whistleblower with an audit and compliance role within a company. It comes amid a national debate on whether employees whose jobs involve monitoring company activity for regulatory and legal compliance should be permitted ... Read More

SEC announces record $30 million whistleblower reward

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said Monday that it will pay a whistleblower more than $30 million for providing the agency with original information that was key in helping secure a successful enforcement action and recovery. The award is the largest ever the SEC has paid to a foreign whistleblower and is the fourth award the regulator has paid to a whistleblower in a foreign country, demonstrating the international reach of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower since it opened in July 2010. “This whistleblower came to us with information about an ongoing fraud that would have been ... Read More