Employers, although contractually free to terminate the employment of at-will employees for any reason, at any time, cannot dismiss an employee in violation of public policy. A prime California public policy is that employers cannot retaliate against whistleblowers—individuals who have reported suspected unlawful employer conduct. In January 2014, the Legislature expanded the general whistleblowing statute, Labor Code section 1102.5, to
Continue Reading California Court Extends Protections To “Silent Whistleblowers”

By Ada W. Dolph, Robert T. Syzba and Jade Wallace

In an effort to preempt another “Bridgegate” scandal, New Jersey State Senator Loretta Weinberg has sponsored a bill to extend whistleblower protection to employees who disclose incidents of wasted public funds, governmental abuse, or gross mismanagement. On October 9, 2014, the New Jersey Senate’s Labor Committee approved Bill S-768, which,
Continue Reading “Bridgegate” Triggers Proposed Expansion of New Jersey Whistleblower Protections

By James Beyer

Hypothetical, based upon a real fact pattern: Sally works for a chair manufacturer and believes the chairs are made with unsafe and illegal toxins. Sally reports her concerns to the head of HR. Sally also says that she thinks her supervisor is “harassing” her for raising this with him because he gave her a bad performance rating.
Continue Reading Loose Lips Sink Ships! Can an Employer Ask a Whistleblower to Keep Her Complaints “Confidential”?

By Christopher Robertson

Hypothetical, based upon a real fact pattern: Employee believes she has witnessed improper activities at her employer and begins preparing a qui tam whistleblower complaint alleging False Claims Act violations to file under seal. During the course of preparing the complaint, employee removes highly confidential electronic and original documents from her workplace, copying entire folders of sensitive
Continue Reading “But I’m a Whistleblower!”: Is an Employee Who Takes Confidential Documents Invincible?

A supervisor discovers that an employee has recently downloaded thousands of pages of confidential Company billing and financial information, and e-mailed it to her personal e-mail address. Upon further investigation, the supervisor discovers that the employee has asked other employees to also send Company documents to her personal e-mail address. This hypothethical is a scenario faced by employers more often
Continue Reading An Employee Is Stealing Company Documents…That Can’t Be Protected Activity, Right?

Can Employees Steal Trade Secrets & Confidential Information To Support Their Whistleblower Claims?

The answer: It depends who is adjudicating the case, as a sharp conflict recently has arisen on this issue between federal and state courts and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The DOL’s Administrative Review Board (ARB) recently suggested that such activities may indeed qualify as

Continue Reading Upcoming Webinar – The New Risk: Employee Theft Of Trade Secrets And Confidential Information In The Name Of Protected Whistleblowing