Whistleblower Law Blog

COVID-19 Whistleblower Protections: Few Options for Workers Reporting Unsafe Working Conditions

July 24, 2020
The United States has been rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic in innumerable ways and it has had profound and ongoing impacts on workers. One of the most vexing problems arising from COVID-19 has been protecting workers who object to employers that are failing to implement meaningful safety precautions to protect their workers...

The Federal Government Is Taking Action Against COVID-19 Fraud

June 9, 2020
The federal government has responded to the coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic with legislation to aid individuals and struggling businesses. One of the many laws created was the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), a $2 trillion federal appropriation addressing the economic fallout caused by...

Veterans Affairs Case Offers Clarification on WPA Burden of Proof

May 14, 2020
In Sistek v. Dep’t of Veterans Affairs, 955 F.3d 948, 954 (Fed. Cir. 2020), the Federal Circuit clarified a federal whistleblower’s burden of proving retaliation when the discrimination he alleges is not specifically identified as a prohibited personnel action in the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 (“WPA”), 5 U.S.C. § 2302...

Strong Whistleblower Protections Are Vital During Covid-19

April 24, 2020
This article originally appeared in Bloomberg Law on April 24, 2020. During the coronavirus pandemic, we are now more than ever relying on our governments and health-care providers to take unprecedented action to save lives and meet new and continually evolving challenges. At the same time, we are seeing ever growing gaps in...

Virginia Takes Major Step Forward in Protecting Whistleblowers

April 17, 2020
On April 11, 2020, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed into law HB798 (“VA Whistleblower Protection Law”), strengthening whistleblower protections for workers in the state of Virginia.   The VA Whistleblower Protection Law amends the Code of Virginia, adding a section numbered § 40.1-27.3. to the Code’s Protection...

Renewed Importance of False Claims Act Enforcement Under the CARES Act

April 10, 2020
The False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3729 et seq. (“FCA”), is one of the federal government’s most powerful tools for recovering fraudulently obtained federal funds.  Though it has been in effect for more than 150 years, the FCA will take on renewed importance as the federal government begins to distribute more than $2...

Jury Awards Pharma Whistleblower Over $760k in Retaliation Case

March 20, 2020
A federal district court in Massachusetts recently ordered Minneapolis based Coloplast to pay over $760,000 to Plaintiff, Amy Lestage, for retaliating against her after she and others filed a whistleblower complaint against the company.   In December 2011, pharmaceutical whistleblower, Lestage, along with two former...

ARB Rules “Hinting” at Filing an Undefined Complaint is Not Protected Activity

February 18, 2020
In October 2019, the Administrative Review Board (“ARB” or “the Board”) issued a noteworthy decision in Hoptman v. Health Net of California, affirming the dismissal of a pro se whistleblower retaliation claim under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“SOX”). See ARB Case No. 2017-0052, (Oct. 31, 2019). In Hoptman, the Board held the...

Courts and State Legislatures Broaden Claims Available to Cybersecurity Whistleblowers

February 13, 2020
Like the years immediately preceding it, 2019 marked another banner year for cybersecurity whistleblowers. Lawsuits relating to deficient corporate cybersecurity practices survived challenges in securities litigation and under the False Claims Act (“FCA”). The U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) settled its first FCA case...

Board Holds that SOX Section 806 Does Not Apply Extraterritorially.

November 14, 2019
On September 18, 2019, the Administrative Review Board (ARB or the Board) issued an important decision in Hu v. PTC, Inc., holding that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) whistleblower retaliation provision does not apply to individuals working outside the United States (U.S.). The Board’s decision in Hu appears to overturn its 2017...

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