Whistleblower Law Blog

Sarbanes-Oxley Failing to Keep Promise of Holding Executives Accountable

August 1, 2012
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (“SOX”), passed with much fanfare following the Enron and WorldCom scandals that rocked the financial world, marked a significant step toward reining in reckless and unlawful practices at publicly traded companies. However, ten years after the Act’s passage, it is difficult to view the Act as...

Government Agencies Cautioned by OSC Regarding Employee Monitoring Policies

July 3, 2012
Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner of the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (“OSC”) issued a memorandum on June 20, 2012, calling for government agency heads and agency general counsels to exercise caution when implementing policies monitoring employee communications.  The memorandum noted that while there were legitimate...

Whistleblower Secures $15.4 Million Settlement with Olympus

June 12, 2012
Last week, Japanese-based camera giant Olympus Corp. announced that it reached a $15.4 million settlement with the company’s former Chief Executive, Michael Woodford, who was terminated after blowing the whistle on the company’s accounting practices last October, according to the Huffington Post. Woodford, a Briton, was the...

Federal Circuit Holds MSPB Exclusion of Whistleblower’s Evidence Constitutes Harmful Error

June 1, 2012
On May 30, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Whitmore v. Department of Labor gave United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) whistleblower Robert Whitmore a second chance to prove that he was unlawfully terminated for publically airing his concerns that the agency was underreporting workplace...

Special Counsel Laments FAA Handling of Aviation Whistleblowers

May 9, 2012
The United States Office of Special Counsel (“OSC”) sent a letter to the White House and Congress yesterday urging more effective oversight of air safety on the part of the Department of Transportation’s (“DOT’s”) Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”).  In a press release, the OSC noted that the FAA has one of the...

DOL’s Administrative Review Board Underscores Importance of Whistleblower Access to Counsel

May 3, 2012
On April 27, 2012, the Administrative Review Board (“ARB” or the “Board”) of the U.S. Department of Labor reaffirmed its policy of declining requests to reduce attorney’s fee awards merely because the amount requested is disproportionately larger than the damages recovered by a whistleblower. This ruling underscores the...

Carolyn Lerner Touts OSC's Efficiency, Productivity at Senate Hearing

March 21, 2012
Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner of the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (“OSC”) testified yesterday before the Senate Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia. The OSC is a federal agency which works to protect federal employees and applicants from prohibited personnel...

OSC Releases Conclusions Regarding Port Mortuary Retaliation

March 19, 2012
In an encouraging follow-up to a story we have blogged about before, the U.S. Office of the Special Counsel (“OSC”) has released its investigative report regarding the whistleblower retaliation that took place at the Port Mortuary in Dover, Delaware. The report found that three United States Air Force officials – Quinton...

USDA Inspectors Expose Sale of Spoiled Applesauce to FDA

February 15, 2012
The Food Integrity Campaign, a project of the Government Accountability Project, reported yesterday that two United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) inspectors who were assigned to the Snokist Growers fruit processing plant in Washington state reported concerns about moldy applesauce to their supervisor but were...

White House Lowers 2013 Budget For Office of Special Counsel

February 15, 2012
p>In its budget request for fiscal year 2013, the White House requested $18.7 million for the Office of Special Counsel (“OSC”). As the government watchdog website MSPBWatch reports, this was less than was requested or appropriated last year -- $19.5 million and $19 million, respectively. This lowering in funding comes...

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