Latest Articles

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) has issued its long-anticipated  decision in Browning-Ferris Industries, 362 NLRB No. 186 (pdf), establishing a new test for determining joint-employer status under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA” or the “Act”).  Because this revised standard will resonate with businesses relying on contractors and staffing firms throughout the economy and across industry lines, employers should be wary of its potential impact upon relationships with service providers that are…
By:  Allen B. Roberts and Frank C. Morris, Jr. Continuing its trend from 2011, the Department of Labor (DOL) Administrative Review Board (ARB) seems intent on extending whistleblower protection under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) beyond allegations of securities fraud – even where that means reversal of its own administrative law judges who believe they are applying the law as Congress intended and consistent with ARB precedent. For now, whistleblowers and their attorneys can expect a more hospitable reception…
By Allen B. Roberts and Stuart M. Gerson Those concerned with managing or insuring risk are affected increasingly by the evolution of whistleblowing, especially as new laws and interpretations since 2009 have changed the stakes by redefining whistleblower protections and bounty award entitlements. Virtually any risk management program written prior to the 2008 elections may need to be recalibrated to take account of new definitions introduced by whistleblower features of legislation nominally concerning healthcare and financial…
Whistleblower considerations are likely to be especially prominent in the new year and as a new Congressional term begins, leading to the 2012 election campaign. Please join me and other attorneys from my firm, EpsteinBeckerGreen, as we present a full-day program covering labor and employment law topics that have increasingly impacted employers over the past two years. In addition, we will offer an outlook of what we should expect in the coming two years. Our…
A new wave of whistleblower monetary awards and protections will come to the financial services industry once the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 (RAFSA) is enacted. With final resolution of differences between House and Senate versions accomplished, both houses of Congress now will consider the conference committee bill. Bloomberg legal analyst Spencer Mazyck has been following whistleblowing changes we are likely to see with the anticipated enactment of RAFSA. Spencer explored with me…
On the heels of its 2-1 decision in Hyman v. KD Resources, allowing equitable estoppel to extend the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) statute of limitations (noted in our blog posting of April 20, 2010), the Department of Labor Administrative Review Board (ARB) has issued a unanimous decision clarifying the burden for whistleblowers to survive dismissal of complaints that are not filed within the explicit 90-day statute of limitations. Daryanani v. Royal & Sun Alliance, ARB…
By Allen B. Roberts, Douglas Weiner The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts held in Lawson v. FMR LLC (pdf) that SOX coverage can apply not only to employees of publicly traded companies, but to employees of private management services firms as well. The typical business model in the financial services industry is that public mutual fund companies generally have no employees of their own, but are managed by private investment advisors.…
Like several other statutes, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“SOX”) requires whistleblowers to initiate their complaints by an administrative filing with the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. But when a preferred outcome in that designated arena appears unlikely, a whistleblower may be allowed to abandon the administrative process before a final order issues and seek a new opportunity in court.  Faced with the prospect of another round of de novo litigation, employers may turn increasingly…
By Allen B. Roberts, Douglas Weiner While most attention in the legislative and political process leading to enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”) focused on the significant impact on the delivery of health care, employers need to be aware, also, of amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). The FLSA amendments impose certain employer responsibilities in providing health care benefits, confer whistleblower protections and authorize the U.S. Department of…
By: Allen B. Roberts, Victoria M. Sloan Employers who thought they were free of exposure if no complaint was filed within the statute of limitations applicable in Sarbanes-Oxley (“SOX”) and other whistleblower claims administered by the Secretary of Labor need to recalibrate their risk based on a recent decision allowing equitable estoppel. In Hyman v. KD Resources, an employee missed the 90-day SOX statute of limitations by filing his complaint 160 days after…