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With increased public and governmental scrutiny of corporate finances and reporting, and with the plaintiff’s bar leveraging allegations of wrongdoing under federal law when pursuing claims of retaliation, whistleblower complaints have spiked dramatically. For example, since its inception in 2011 the Securities and Exchange Commission's Office of the Whistleblower has received more than 6,500 tips about alleged securities law violations. Under this new bounty program, individuals who provide information resulting in sanctions stand to collect between 10 percent and 30 percent of those valued at more than $1 million. Although most of the initial bounties paid were less than $100,000, the SEC announced the payment of a $14 million bounty to one individual in September 2013. The lure of a payout like this is likely to sustain the flow of tips coming into the SEC in the coming years.

While virtually any business is at risk of whistleblower complaints, companies in the health care, biotech, and pharmaceutical industries, as well as institutions of higher education, have become particular targets for whistleblower suits. As a further challenge to employers, penalties for retaliation and discrimination against whistleblowers can result in thousands of dollars per allegation.  Employers also face unique management challenges when it comes to current employees who have raised False Claims Act allegations or alleged other violations of law.

Crowell & Moring has a long history of success defending employers against claims asserted under Section 3730(h) of the False Claims Act, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), the U.K. Bribery Act, New Jersey's Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA), and other state, federal, and international whistleblower laws. Our Labor & Employment Group lawyers team with lawyers from our White Collar and Government Contracts practices to conduct investigations of potential wrongdoing and retaliation, including reviews of activities that may have driven the whistleblower's report, as well as management responses to these activities and the information they receive. We also provide advice on how to cope with suspected whistleblowers who encounter performance problems or in some other manner threaten the stability or security of the business.

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"OFCCP Launches Three New Initiatives Impacting Its Relationship with Contractors," Labor & Employment Law Alert - US (December 12, 2018). Contacts: Rebecca L. Springer, Kris D. Meade, Laura Offenbacher Aradi
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"Unreasonable Termination - Belgian Supreme Court Confirms: No Employee Fault Required," Labor & Employment Law Alert - Europe (December 5, 2018). Contacts: Emmanuel Plasschaert, Evelien Jamaels, Stephanie Michiels
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"Third Thursday Webinar - #MeToo, One Year Later: What Have We Learned?," Crowell & Moring Webinar (November 29, 2018). Presenters: Thomas Gies, Ellen Dwyer, and Rebecca Ricigliano.
"2019 Retirement Plan Economic Forecast, Plan Compliance & Litigation Update," BDO USA, Costa Mesa, CA (November 28, 2018). Presenter: David McFarlane
How To Limit Legal Risks That Come With Wearable Devices Wearable Technologies (November 13, 2018)
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"New Jersey Joins the Wave of Jurisdictions Enacting Paid Sick Leave Laws," Labor & Employment Law Alert - US (November 2, 2018). Contacts: Trina Fairley Barlow, Ira M. Saxe, Amanda DiSanto
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"Third Thursday Webinar--Crowell & Moring’s Labor and Employment Update," Crowell & Moring Webinar (October 18, 2018). Presenters: Thomas P. Gies, Christine B. Hawes, and Amanda DiSanto.
"New York State Releases Final Guidance On Legislation Aimed At Preventing Sexual Harassment," Labor & Employment Law Alert - US (October 5, 2018). Contacts: Ellen Moran Dwyer, Thomas P. Gies, Trina Fairley Barlow, Ira M. Saxe, Katie Erno
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"In the Wake of the #MeToo Movement: Speaking Out and Setting Expectations for a Safe and Supportive Working Environment," 30th Annual General Counsel Conference, New York, NY (September 26, 2018). Moderator: Ellen Moran Dwyer.
Lessons from the First Year of #MeToo (August 17, 2018). Authors: Trina Fairley Barlow and Amanda DiSanto.

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Crowell & Moring LLP is an international law firm with more than 500 lawyers representing clients in litigation and arbitration, regulatory, and transactional matters. The firm is internationally recognized for its representation of Fortune 500 companies in high-stakes litigation, as well as its ongoing commitment to pro bono service and diversity. The firm has offices in Washington, DC, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County, London, and Brussels.

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