Following Wednesday’s devastating Supreme Court decision in Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v. Somers, whistleblowers were in need of some good news. The Tenth Circuit answered the call yesterday with a solid decision in Gensberg v. Porter affirming an amicus brief submitted by the National Whistleblower Center.

Carl Genberg was an executive for the Ceregenix Corporation who suspected misconduct by the Board of Directors. When he suspected misconduct including insider training, he reported this to the Board. As a result of his actions, Genberg was fired. Yet when he brought a whistleblower suit before a federal district court, the judge dismissed his case upon a summary judgment motion by Ceregenix.

Continue Reading Whistleblowers Get Some Good News in Genberg v. Porter

Washington, D.C. September 28, 2016. U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez vowed a “Top-to-Bottom” review of whistleblower complaints filed by Wells Fargo employees over the last six years. Sec. Perez made this promise in response to a request last week by several Senators, including Senator Elisabeth Warren, for the Department of Labor (DOL) to investigate whether Wells Fargo violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Continue Reading Wells Fargo Whistleblower Cases Will Get Second Look

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

Continue Reading Decisions of DOL Administrative Review Board January – April 2016

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 OSHA Launches Whistleblower Severe Violator Pilot in Kansas City Region

The Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has fallen for a trap laid by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber and its big corporate allies have led a long campaign dedicated to eroding protections for whistleblowers who report crimes. One of their favorite tactics is to try to get whistleblowers to report issues to the company’s attorneys or other company-led programs. They want to discourage reporting to law enforcement authorities, making it harder to rein in corruption on Wall Street and Corporate America at large.

Now the Chamber of Commerce is at it again and they’ve roped in OSHA to support them.

Take Action: tell the DOL they need to protect whistleblowers. Continue Reading Tell DOL: White Collar Criminals Don’t Deserve an Early Warning System

The Whistleblower Protection Blog’s most popular posts during the past year covered a wide range of whistleblower topics including court victories improving whistleblower rights, the introduction of new whistleblower legislation,  and the Congressional celebration honoring whistleblowers.

We really appreciate the support from our loyal readers. You have given us another successful year. If you’d like to be the first to know when we post a new blog, you can get notifications by subscribing to our RSS Feed here.  Or you can use the box to the left to receive our posts via email.

Here are the top 10 posts of 2015, in order of popularity:

  1. Big Win For Whistleblowers At Labor Department;
  2. House Passes Bill to Expand Protections for Federal Employees Against Discrimination;
  3. Appeals Court Rules That KBR Can Keep Evidence Of Contract Fraud Secret;
  4. House Investigation Reveals Commerce IG’s Pattern of Retaliation Against Whistleblowers;
  5. Senators Honor Whistleblowers at First Congressional Celebration of National Whistleblower Day;
  6. Court of Appeals Rules NSA Domestic Surveillance Program Illegal;
  7. SEC Sanctions KBR for Illegal Non-Disclosure Agreement;
  8. Tax Court Delivers Victory For Tax Whistleblowers;
  9. IRS Whistleblower Program Releases 2014 Report to Congress;
  10. NWC Releases Press Statement Regarding FBI Crime Lab Errors.

 

Washington, D.C. March 23, 2015. The U.S. Department of Labor’s top whistleblower appeals board issued a 3-2 ruling setting forth the burdens of proof in corporate whistleblower cases.  The decision, issued on Friday, March 20th by the DOL Administrative Review Board (Board) in the case of Powers v. Union Pacific Railroad Company, ARB Case No. 13-034, establishes an employee-friendly standard, making it easier for whistleblowers to prevail under numerous corporate whistleblower laws, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Energy Reorganization Act, and the Consumer Safety Act.

The ruling comes after a hotly contested two-hour oral argument before the Board where leaders of the corporate community and whistleblower advocates fought it out.  Stephen Kohn, partner at Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, LLP, argued the burden of proof issue on behalf of the whistleblower, Mr. Robert Powers, the oral argument held before the Board on January 14, 2015.  Supporting Powers were numerous representatives from the whistleblower community, including Jason Zuckerman, who argued on behalf of advocacy groups, such as the National   Continue Reading Big Win For Whistleblowers At Labor Department