Archives: Retaliation

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Wells Fargo Whistleblower Wins Reinstatement and $5.4 Million in Damages

Wells Fargo Whistleblower Wins Reinstatement and $5.4 Million in DamagesOn April 3, 2017, The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) ordered Wells Fargo to reinstate a former bank manager who blew the whistle on fraudulent behavior at the bank.  The whistleblower, who’s name was not released, reported the fraud to both supervisors and the company’s ethics hotline.… Continue Reading

GAO Finds That Pilot Government Contractor Whistleblower Program A “Complete Failure”

GAO Finds That Pilot Government Contractor Whistleblower Program A “Complete Failure” Agency Inspector Generals Failed to Rule In Favor of Whistleblowers In Any CasesAgency Inspector Generals Failed to Rule In Favor of Whistleblowers In Any Cases Washington, D.C.  March 3, 2017. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report to Congressional Committees yesterday on the Government Contractor Whistleblower Protections Pilot Program (pilot program). The pilot program was established under the National Defense Authorization Act 2013 (the Act). … Continue Reading

Senators Introduce Bill to Protect DOE Whistleblowers

Senators Introduce Bill to Protect DOE WhistleblowersIn July 2016, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported the the Department of Energy (DOE) has done little to stop retaliation and intimidation against whistleblowers by its contractors. On Monday, in response to the GAO Report, U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., introduced legislation to expand protections for whistleblowers at … Continue Reading

Decisions of the DOL Administrative Review Board August 2016

Decisions of the DOL Administrative Review BoardThe Administrative Review Board issues final agency decisions for the Secretary of Labor in cases arising under a wide range of worker protection laws, primarily involving environmental, transportation, and securities whistleblower protection.  The below list includes decisions of the Administrative Review Board from August 2016 as reported in the USDOL/OALJ Reporter:… Continue Reading

Decisions of the DOL Administrative Review Board July 2016

Decisions of the DOL Administrative Review BoardThe Administrative Review Board issues final agency decisions for the Secretary of Labor in cases arising under a wide range of worker protection laws, primarily involving environmental, transportation, and securities whistleblower protection.  The below list includes decisions of the Administrative Review Board from July 2016 as reported in the USDOL/OALJ Reporter:… Continue Reading

New OSHA Guidance Clarifies Impermissible Restrictions On Whistleblowing

OSHAThe OSHA Directorate of Whistleblower Protection Programs issued new policy guidance on the criteria it uses to ensure settlement agreements do not impermissibly restrict or discourage whistleblowing. The new policy guidelines, issued August 23, 2016, state that OSHA will not approve settlements that contain “gag” clauses that restrict or discourage whistleblowing. Such clauses are often … Continue Reading

SEC Fines Company for Whistleblower Protection Violations

President Obama’s Whistleblower LegacyWashington D.C., Aug. 10, 2016 —The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that an Atlanta-based building products distributor is settling charges that it violated securities laws by using severance agreements that required outgoing employees to waive their rights to monetary recovery should they file a charge or complaint with the SEC or other federal agencies.… Continue Reading

Senators: “ARB’s Interpretation of Whistleblower ‘Burden of Proof’ Consistent With Congressional Intent”

OSHAA bipartisan group of senators commended the Department of Labor, Administrative Review Board’s (ARB) interpretation of federal whistleblower protections provisions, clarifying the statutory burdens of proof in whistleblower cases. In two recent decisions, Fordham v. Fannie Mae, ARB No. 12-061 (Oct. 9, 2014) and Powers v. Union Pacific Railroad, ARB No. 13-034 (Mar. 20, 2105), the … Continue Reading

KKC Partner Featured in I-Team Segment on Special Education Whistleblower

On Friday March, 20, whistleblower advocate Stephen M. Kohn featured ‘Weekend Today in New York’ I-Team Report.  The I-Team report covered the story of a special ed teacher who was retaliated against by her school district after blowing the whistle on the fact that students who were not getting the help they are promised under … Continue Reading

Senator McCain Urges VA to Investigate Allegations of Whistleblower Retaliation

VA HospitalOn February 6, Senator John McCain wrote a letter urging Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert McDonald to examine recent allegations made by an employee at the Phoenix VA Health Care System (PVAHCS) that he was subjected to harassment and intimidation by superiors and later placed on administrative leave after raising concerns over the … Continue Reading

Decisions of the DOL Administrative Review Board – Jan 2015

Decisions of the Administrative Review Board March 2015USDOL/OALJ Reporter Decisions of the Administrative Review Board January-February 2015 Mawhinney v. Transportation Workers Union, ARB No. 15-013, ALJ No. 2012-AIR-14 (ARB Feb. 3, 2015) Decision and Order on Reconsideration Denying Interlocutory Appeal PDF Summary: CONTENTIONS THAT ALJ’S DEFERRAL OF HEARING ON REMAND UNTIL ARB RULED ON A RELATED CASE WAS A DENIAL OF DUE PROCESS, … Continue Reading

Department of Labor to Hold Oral Arguments on Key Corporate Whistleblower Case

E._Barrett_Prettyman_Federal_Courthouse,_DCThe Department’s Top Judges will Decide the “Burden of Proof” Whistleblower Must Meet to Prevail in Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Cases The Department of Labor Administrative Review Board (ARB) will hold oral arguments in the case of Powers v. Union Pacific Railroad Company, ARB Case No. 13-034 on Wednesday, January 14 at 2pm.  This case … Continue Reading

House Members Demand SEC Address Corporate Anti-Whistleblower Practices

Yesterday, eight Democratic members of the House Committees on Financial Services and Oversight and on Government Reform sent a letter to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White, demanding she address the chilling effect of corporate anti-whistleblower practices. In their letter to SEC Chair Mary Jo White, Financial Services Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-CA) joined … Continue Reading

FINRA Reminds Employers of Anti-gag Regulations

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently implemented written guidance that bars employers from entering into restrictive settlement agreements. “Restrictive settlement agreements” are defined as agreements that would prevent or “gag” an employee from contacting the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), FINRA or any state or federal regulatory authority about possible securities violations. This ban on … Continue Reading

ARB Clarifies Use of “Contributing Factor” Test In Whistleblower Cases

In a long-overdue decision issued on October 9, 2014, the Department of Labor Administrative Review Board (ARB) finally clarified the standard of proof for employees to establish the “Contributing Factor” Test in whistleblower retaliation cases arising under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act  (SOX) and other whistleblower statutes.  In a 2-to-1 panel decision in Fordham v. Fannie Mae, ARB … Continue Reading
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