2013 was a big year for Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank whistleblower developments, with a whopping $14 million bounty award from the SEC standing out as the most impactful. But if there’s just one thing to be learned as we head into 2014, it’s that enforcement officials are just getting started. But if there’s more, and there is, we bring in attorney Steve Pearlman to LXBN TV to explain it all.
In November, the SEC Office of the Whistleblower (“OWB”) released its 2013 Annual Report on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program (the “Report”). The Report details the number of whistleblower tips and complaints received and the amount of whistleblower awards made during fiscal year 2013.
With the advent of new rules and regulations, particularly one as sweeping as the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”).
The Dodd-Frank Act – signed by President Barack Obama more than three years ago, and since then advanced with a host of rules and regulations – has been widely viewed as a law that addresses systemic risk in the financial system and enhances the corporate responsibility of public companies to shareholders.
In the wake of the financial crisis a few years back, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which focused on an overhaul of federal financial regulations.
On November 12, 2013, a Georgia district court ruled that Dodd-Frank whistleblowers are not entitled to a jury trial or punitive damages. Pruett v. BlueLinx Holdings, Inc., No. 13-cv-02607 (N.D. Ga., Nov. 12, 2013). This is a first-impression decision that is likely to impact the valuation of Dodd-Frank whistleblower claims.
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has held that the whistleblower protection provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act do not apply outside the United States, even where the employee alleged he was terminated for raising compliance concerns under U.S. international law.
At the Firm’s 32nd Annual Client Briefing held yesterday, I spoke on the financial services industry panel about the Dodd-Frank bounty program and the whistleblower anti-retaliation provisions of both the Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley Acts.
The US District Court for the Southern District of New York limited the scope of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act anti-retaliation provisions for whistleblowers to the United States, dismissing a complaint by an overseas former employee against Siemens A.G., the German multinational corporation.
In Liu v. Siemens A.G., No. 13 Civ. 317 (WHP), slip op. (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 21, 2013), the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York held that the anti-retaliation protections found in Section 922 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 do not apply extraterritorially. This blog posting summarizes the Court’s decision and analyzes the impact for multinational employers.