Category Archives: Whistleblower & Retaliation Claims

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Whistleblower Split Widens

Employers take heed: there is a further split in authority as to whether whistleblowers are protected under the Dodd-Frank Act if they only report securities-law violations internally, and not to the Securities and Exchange Commission. A recent decision from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals adds to the existing split among federal appellate courts as to who is entitled … Continue Reading

Florida Whistleblower Act Objector Must Prove an Actual Violation of Law, Says Second DCA

The Florida private sector Whistleblower’s Act protects employees who object or refuse to participate in a violation of a law, rule or regulation by their employer. But an employee’s “reasonable belief” of a violation is insufficient – the employee must prove an actual violation to state a claim under the FWA, according to a recent decision by Florida’s Second District … Continue Reading

Federal Appeals Court Says Dodd-Frank Does Not Protect Overseas Whistleblowers

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has ruled that the Dodd-Frank Act does not protect whistleblowers outside the United States.

In Liu Meng Lin v. Siemens AG, Case No. 13‐4385‐cv (2nd Cir. August 14, 2014), the court affirmed a trial court’s dismissal of a Dodd-Frank whistleblower lawsuit filed by a former Siemens compliance officer, Meng-Lin Liu, … Continue Reading

Who is a Whistleblower Under Dodd-Frank? Courts Disagree.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act protects employees who blow the whistle on possible securities law violations.  But the question of who qualifies as a whistleblower continues to divide courts, as illustrated by two recent cases.

In Englehart v. Career Education Corp., Case 8:14-cv-444-T-33EAJ (M.D. Fla., May 12, 2014), the plaintiff, an employee of publicly traded … Continue Reading

Whistleblower Claims The Wave Continues

“The cover-up is often worse than the crime” – an apt mantra for employers who are being increasingly forced to defend retaliation and/or whistleblower claims brought in myriad industries under a broad spectrum of federal and state laws.

The United States Supreme Court’s recent (and landmark) decision in Lawson v. FMR LLC, broadly expanding the scope of potential whistle-blower … Continue Reading

Managing Employees Who File Claims

Dealing with an employee who has filed a claim places an employer in a precarious position – the employer needs to properly manage the employee, but avoid a retaliation claim in the process. It’s like walking a tightrope.

Employers have seen it many times – a troublesome employee is about to be disciplined, sees the handwriting on the wall, and … Continue Reading

Will You Be Ready When The Whistle Is Blown?

Claims by employees “blowing the whistle” on their employer are on the rise in today’s workplace.  Will you be ready when the whistle is blown on your company?  Better yet, can you prevent whistleblower claims from being raised in the first place?

Various provisions of state and federal law prohibit retaliation against employees who “blow the whistle” on employer misdeeds.  … Continue Reading

Aery is Scary for Florida Whistleblower Act Defendants

The Florida Whistleblower Act (“FWA”) prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who object to, or refuse to participate in, the employer’s violation of a law, rule, or regulation.  But most courts have held that an employee must show that he opposed an actual violation of a law, rule or regulation; a good faith belief that a violation occurred or is … Continue Reading

Keeping the Jury at Bay: Workers’ Compensation Retaliation Claim is Subject to Arbitration

A workers’ compensation retaliation claim must be arbitrated under the parties’ arbitration agreement, according to a recent decision by Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal, Audio Visual Innovations, Inc. v. Spiessbach (Fla. 2d DCA, August 16, 2013).

Michael Spiessbach injured his back while working for Audio Visual Communications, Inc. (AVI).  He claimed that after filing a claim for workers’ … Continue Reading

OSHA Announces New Leader Of Whistleblower Protection Program

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) has named a former chairman of the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (“MSPB”), as the new director of OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program.  On November 20, officials of OSHA announced that Beth Siavet will lead the agency’s whistleblower protection efforts.

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of … Continue Reading

Whistleblower and Retaliation Claims – Hot Topic at Akerman’s 17th Annual Labor & Employment Law Seminar

You have done everything right. You provide a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for taking an adverse employment action against one of your employees. You provide all the evidence any jury could ever want, which you believe shows that the employee was never treated differently than other similarly situated employees. You think you are a sure bet for winning summary judgment. Right? … Continue Reading

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