Whistleblowing & Retaliation

Whistleblower Protection

Outten & Golden attorneys are experienced in advising employees on how to “blow the whistle” on employer wrongdoing. Our lawyers also have years of experience representing employees who have been retaliated against for blowing the whistle, whether in negotiations, agency proceedings, litigation, or arbitration. The laws that protect whistleblowers usually require that certain filing deadlines, called statutes of limitations, be met in order for legal claims to be preserved. Other prerequisites, like following internal complaint procedures, may also be required. For these reasons, it is important to consult with an attorney early, before blowing the whistle if possible. 

Various federal, state, and city laws protect employees who blow the whistle on employer wrongdoing. For example, the law protects from retaliation whistleblowers who report incidents of discrimination, violations of securities laws like Sarbanes-Oxley and the Dodd-Frank Act, and misappropriation of government funds (qui tam claims). Other laws protect whistleblowers in certain industries, including Air and Rail Transportation, Nuclear Energy, Health Care, Defense Contracts, and Consumer Products Manufacturing. In some circumstances, whistleblowers who report wrong-doing may be eligible for rewards.

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National Whistleblower Appreciation Day: Honoring the Everyday Heroes

Outten & Golden LLP

Outten & Golden LLP, By Tammy Marzigliano, Pawanpreet Dhaliwal, and Brittany Arnold

Daryl Woodruff was an interim superintendent and contender for a leadership position at PG&E. He was fired for fabricated performance issues after he spoke his conscience twice. First, he stood up for himself and his colleagues by complaining of race discrimination to the company’s human resources department. Second, he reported his good faith belief that other PG&E leaders had failed to inspect defective, potentially explosive electrical transformers and lied about it,...

Supreme Court Shrinks Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Protections

Outten & Golden LLP Employment Law Blog—Nicholas Sikon

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision this week in Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v. Somers shrinks Dodd-Frank's protections against workplace retaliation for corporate whistleblowers.

The once robust statute now leaves a gaping hole for those employees in the private sector who report securities related violations to their employer. Now, after the Supreme Court's ruling, employees are required to report directly to the Securities and Exchange Commission in order to avail themselves of legal protection under the statute - internal reporting is no longer enough.

"This decision is bad...