Whistleblower

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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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"A Nail in the Coffin? Another California District Court Finds That Employee Non-Solicitation Agreements Are Void Under California Law," Labor & Employment Law Alert - US (May 9, 2019). Contacts: Thomas P. Gies, Suzanne E. Rode
Client Alert/Newsletter
"Addressing #MeToo, Pay Equity, and Other Employment Risks – Money and Time Well Spent," Crowell & Moring's Ounce of Prevention Seminar (OOPS) 2019, Washington, DC (May 7, 2019). Speakers: Ellen Moran Dwyer, Rebecca L. Springer, and Trina Fairley Barlow.
Speech/Presentation
"EEOC Announces it will Require both 2017 and 2018 W-2 Data By September 30, 2019 . . . But the Saga Continues," Labor & Employment Law Alert - US (May 6, 2019). Contacts: Kris D. Meade, Rebecca L. Springer
Client Alert/Newsletter
"Ninth Circuit Determines That Dynamex Independent Contractor Test Applies Retroactively," Labor & Employment Law Alert - US (May 3, 2019). Contacts: Thomas P. Gies, Kris D. Meade, Suzanne E. Rode
Client Alert/Newsletter
"Some Clarity at Last – Employers Must Submit EEO-1 Pay Data by September 30," Labor & Employment Law Alert - US (April 25, 2019). Contacts: Ira M. Saxe, Rebecca L. Springer, Kris D. Meade
Client Alert/Newsletter
"Supreme Court Gives Businesses a Win in Mandatory Arbitration Dispute," Labor & Employment Law Alert - US (April 25, 2019). Contacts: Thomas P. Gies, Ira M. Saxe
Client Alert/Newsletter
"How Should Your Company Plan for the 2020 Social Elections?," Labor & Employment Law Alert - Europe (April 24, 2019). Contacts: Emmanuel Plasschaert, Evelien Jamaels, Stephanie Michiels
Client Alert/Newsletter
"Third Thursday--C&M’s April Labor & Employment Update: “Check” It Out – Avoiding Illegal Practices in Employee Background Checks," Crowell & Moring Webinar (April 18, 2019). Presenters: Thomas P. Gies, Christine B. Hawes, and Jillian Ambrose.
Speech/Presentation
Legal 500 EMEA Recommends Crowell & Moring in 11 Practice Areas and Recognizes 14 Lawyers (Apr.16.2019)
Firm News/Announcement
FLSA ‘Regular Rate’ – DOL Provides Retailers with First Proposed Rules in Over 50 Years (April 8, 2019). Authors: Thomas P. Gies and Kimberley Johnson.
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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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