Last week, the United States Supreme Court released its decision in Digital Realty Trust v. Somers, where the Court unanimously adopted a narrow reading of the Dodd-Frank Act’s anti-retaliation “whistleblower” provision.  The Court held that the provision applies only to individuals who report securities violations directly to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Continue Reading Supreme Court Narrowly Interprets Dodd-Frank’s Definition of Whistleblower

On March 27, 2017, President Trump signed H.J. Res. 37, blocking the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Rule, the controversial rule enacted by the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council in August 2016, that legislators have criticized as a method to blackball federal contractors. The bill’s signing follows the U.S. Senate’s March 6, 2017 vote of 49-48 (along party lines) to formally disapprove of the rule.
Continue Reading Trump Acts to Block the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Rules

At an SEC enforcement conference held last Thursday, October 18, 2012, several SEC speakers remarked that the agency had received an average of eight whistleblower tips per day, for a total of nearly 3000 tips from 45 countries, in the first year of operation of the SEC’s Dodd-Frank whistleblower rules.  The SEC’s revised whistleblower rules, which took effect in August 2011, permit each whistleblower to receive a bounty of 10-30% of all monetary sanctions collected by the SEC on cases associated with the whistleblower’s tip.  To be eligible for a bounty, a whistleblower must voluntarily provide the SEC with original information that leads to a successful SEC enforcement action in which the SEC obtains monetary sanctions greater than $1 million.  This announcement follows the first award (and first denial of an award) of bounty payments to SEC whistleblowers in August 2012.Continue Reading SEC Receives Eight Whistleblower Tips A Day For Bounty Program

Though the primary focus of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”) is the reduction of systemic risk in financial markets and increased regulation of large financial institutions, Dodd-Frank also contains executive compensation, corporate governance and enforcement provisions applicable to most public companies.  Some of these provisions are highlighted below.  For more insights on the full range of business and legal issues associated with current market and regulatory changes, including the Dodd-Frank Act’s executive compensation, corporate governance and enforcement provisions, please visit Hunton & Williams LLP’s Financial Industry Resource Center.Continue Reading Executive Compensation, Corporate Governance And Enforcement Provisions Of The Dodd-Frank Act Affecting Public Companies

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act just signed into law by President Obama, H.R. 4173, 111th Cong. (2010) (“Dodd-Frank”), creates new statutory rights and incentives for whistleblowers and also expands already existing rights, such as under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“SOX”).  Now more than ever, clear policies and procedures backed by strong audit, compliance and investigatory functions are critical to managing the anticipated increase of regulatory enforcement and private party whistleblower litigation that this expansive legislation likely will create.Continue Reading Financial Reform: What Employers Can Expect