Whistleblower Protection Blog

Whistleblower Protection Blog

Advocating Whistleblower Rights for over Twenty Years

National Whistleblower Center Launches Campaign to Protect Auto Safety Whistleblowers

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers
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The National Whistleblower Center has just launched a campaign to demand the Department of Transportation protect whistleblowers effectively. Under part V of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) the Transportation Department now has the responsibility to protect whistleblowers who report violations of motor vehicle safety laws.

The NWC’s Action Alert is linked here.

This legislation has the potential to save countless lives by getting information about unsafe cars, and other vehicles, into the hands of law enforcement authorities before they go out on the road.

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Justice Department’s First Public Statement on Supreme Court’s Unanimous Escobar Decision Slams Toyobo’s “Half-Truths” in Pending False Claims Act Whistleblower Suit

Posted in False Claims / Qui Tam
Department of Justice

Washington, D.C. June 22, 2016 – Today, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a Notice of Supplemental Authority in a pending False Claims Act case, U.S. ex rel. Westrick v. Second Chance Body Armor, et al., No. 04-0280 (D.D.C.), setting forth the DOJ’s official position on the impact of the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision announced last week in Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar, 579 U.S. ___, slip op. No. 15-7 (June 16, 2016). In its filing today, the DOJ argues that the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Escobar discussion that a contractor’s “misleading half-truths” to the government “unequivocally supports the United States’ argument” in the Westrick case that Toyobo Co. Lt. and Toyobo America, Inc. (collectively Toyobo) “had a legal duty to disclose” its knowledge that the degradation of Zylon bullet-proof vests that it sold to the government “contradicted Toyobo’s misrepresentations about the superiority” of those vests. Continue Reading

National Whistleblower Center and World Bank Meet to Discuss Plans to Protect Wildlife Whistleblowers

Posted in Environmental Whistleblowers, International, Wildlife Crime Whistleblowers
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Last week, the National Whistleblower Center’s Executive Director Stephen Kohn visited the World Bank to discuss the NWC’s Global Wildlife Whistleblower Program with members of the Bank’s environmental protection program. Mr. Kohn’s presentation covered the background and specifics of the Program, which aims to educate potential wildlife whistleblowers around the world about their rights to protection and rewards under U.S. law, thereby encouraging those whistleblowers to come forward safely and effectively.   Continue Reading

Big Win for Whistleblowers at Supreme Court

Posted in False Claims / Qui Tam, News
US Supreme Court Building

Supreme Court Unanimously Supports Whistleblower under False Claims Act

Washington, D.C. June 16, 2016. In a unanimous ruling issued today, the United States Supreme Court upheld a whistleblower’s claim in Universal Health Services v. U.S. ex rel. Escobar.  The Court, in an opinion by Justice Thomas, affirmed the “implied certification theory” of liability under the False Claims Act (FCA).  This theory permits contractors to be liable for fraud when they fail to disclose material non-compliance with regulatory requirements.  Continue Reading

Expert Report Highly Critical of UK Whistleblower Protection Laws, Calls for Urgently Needed Reforms

Posted in International, News
Expert Report Highly Critical of U.K. Whistleblower Protection Laws, Calls for Urgently Needed Reforms

A recent report published by Blueprint for Free Speech and the Thomson Reuters Foundation has found that UK law “does not–and cannot–adequately protect whistleblowers.” The report, entitled “Protecting Whistleblowers in the UK: A New Blueprint,” closely examines the UK’s existing whistleblower protection legislation, specifically PIDA (the Public Interest Disclosure Act), concluding that the law is outdated, “broken”, and in need of several major updates. In addition to outlining PIDA’s shortcomings in terms of protecting whistleblowers in the UK, the report’s authors offer specific solutions to ameliorate the law. Continue Reading

NWC Urges Immediate Appeal of the Eleventh Circuit’s Imposition of a Statute of Limitations on FCPA Disgorgement Enforcement Actions

Posted in Corporate Whistleblowers, News
SEC Says Employees Protected For Internal Whistleblowing

On May 26, 2016, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued a body blow to the SEC’s ability to go after corporations under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by imposing a five-year statute of limitations on disgorgement enforcement actions. The decision in SEC. v. Graham et al.  placed a five-year statute of limitations on all SEC disgorgement and declaratory relief enforcement actions. This holding conflicts with decisions previously issued by the D.C. and Ninth Circuits Courts of Appeal. Continue Reading

Whistleblowers Receive Rewards in False Claims Act Settlements

Posted in False Claims / Qui Tam, News
The Chamber’s Proposal to Make it Harder to Prove Fraud Was Refuted Years Ago  by the Reagan Administration

The Department of Justice announced settlements in the listed False Claims Act lawsuits, January through May 2016. The Act permits cases to be brought under the qui tam, or whistleblowerprovisions which permit private individuals to sue on behalf of the government for false claims and to share in any recovery. Over 42 billion dollars has been recovered from government contract fraud through False Claims Act whistleblower cases since 1986.

Click the headline to read the DOJ press release for each case:

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Decisions of DOL Administrative Review Board January – April 2016

Posted in Department of Labor, News
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The Administrative Review Board issues final agency decisions for the Secretary of Labor in cases arising under a wide range of worker protection laws, primarily involving environmental, transportation, and securities whistleblower protection.  The below list includes decisions of the Administrative Review Board from January to April 2016 as reported in the USDOL/OALJ Reporter:

April 2016

  • Gupta v. Compunnel Software Group, Inc., ARB No. 16-056, ALJ No. 2011-LCA-45 (ARB Apr. 29, 2016)
    Final Decision and Order PDF
  • Bohanon v. Grand Trunk Western Railroad Co., ARB No. 16-048, ALJ No. 2014-FRS-3 (ARB Apr. 27, 2016)
    Final Decision and Order Denying Motion to File Petition for Review, After Time for the Filing Has Expired PDF
  • Graves v. MV Transportation, Inc., ARB No. 14-098, ALJ Nos. 2014-NTS-1 and 2 (ARB Apr. 27, 2016)
    Order Approving Settlement and Dismissing Complaint PDF
  • OFCCP, USDOL v. Bank of America, ARB No. 13-099, ALJ No. 1997-OFC-16 (ARB Apr. 21, 2016)
    Final Decision and Order PDF

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OSHA Launches Whistleblower Severe Violator Pilot in Kansas City Region

Posted in Department of Labor, News
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On May 31, 2016 the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced it had launched a pilot for its first severe violator enforcement program for employers that continually and willfully disregard the rights of whistleblowers.

OSHA’s “Whistleblower-Severe Violator Enforcement Program” will be similar to its enforcement Severe Violator Enforcement Program which includes employers that routinely ignore federal workplace safety and health regulations. W-SVEP became effective on May 27, 2016, in the agency’s Kansas City Region, which includes employers in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska, and those companies under federal enforcement in Iowa. Continue Reading

March-May 2016 SEC Whistleblower Awards List

Posted in Claim SEC Award, Corporate Whistleblowers
SEC Whistleblower Program Success

The SEC Office of the Whistleblower posts Notices of Covered Action where a final judgment or order, by itself or together with other prior judgments or orders in the same action issued after July 21, 2010, results in monetary sanctions exceeding $1 million. Subject to the Final Rules, individuals who voluntarily provided the Commission with original information after July 21, 2010 that led to the successful enforcement of a covered action listed below are eligible to apply for a whistleblower award. Once a Notice of Covered Action is posted by the SEC, individuals have 90 calendar days to apply for an award.

View the updated list below:   Continue Reading