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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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"How to Determine the Best Work from Home Strategy for Your Company with Belgium Back in COVID-19 Mandatory Telework Mode?," Labor & Employment Law Alert - Europe (October 22, 2020). Contacts: Emmanuel Plasschaert, Evelien Jamaels, Stefanie Tack, Adrien Moureaux
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"Employment Law Update," OOPS 20/20 - Setting Your Sights (October 22, 2020). Presenters: Trina Fairley Barlow, Kris D. Meade, and Rebecca L. Springer.
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Leadership Council On Legal Diversity Calls For Personal Pledges Bloomberg Law (October 22, 2020)
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"Temps de travail – La flexibilité est la nouvelle norme," Webinar NCOI Learning, Brussels, Belgium (October 15, 2020). Speakers: Emmanuel Plasschaert, Evelien Jamaels, and Adrien Moureaux.
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"Ensuring effective whistleblowing: How board members are dealing with this new topic?" Webinar in collaboration with ecoDa and PWC, Brussels, Belgium (October 15, 2020). Speakers: Emmanuel Plasschaert and Stefanie Tack.
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"Trump Administration Announces New Interim Final Rules to Tighten Visa Requirements for High Skilled Foreign Workers," Labor & Employment Law Alert - US (October 14, 2020). Contacts: Nicole Janigian Simonian, Jackson C. Pai
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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, Brussels, and Shanghai.

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