It’s Back! Pre-taliation Enforcement

pre-taliation

Oh good lord. The Securities and Exchange Commission just dinged a financial services firm in New York $209,000 for including a “pre-taliation” clause in its employee manual, an eye-rolling offense against whistleblowers that I thought had gone extinct in 2016. Apparently not. The firm in question is Guggenheim Securities, the broker-dealer subsidiary of hedge fund…

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Trump Gets Subtle Pre-taliation Warning

pre-taliation

All you compliance officers in the corporate world, spending all your time trying to protect whistleblowers and root out retaliation risks: take a gander at the challenge your federal government counterparts have under the Trump Administration. On Wednesday the Office of Special Counsel issued a reminder that any policies about communications from government employees—like, say, telling them…

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A Whistleblower Sanction Worth Your Attention

pre-taliation

As compliance officers wait to see how the Trump Administration might try to change patterns of SEC enforcement, you may want to consider a case last week where the SEC fined a consumer bank for accounting improprieties and whistleblower pre-taliation at the same time. The firm in question is HomeStreet, a bank based in Seattle…

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SEC Dings BlackRock for Pre-taliation Clauses

whistleblower

The SEC fined investment firm BlackRock $344,000 this week for forcing more than 1,000 employees to sign away their whistleblower rights in severance contracts—although the story here is more about how a little remediation can go a long way. The BlackRock error isn’t anything new: the firm had language in its severance agreements that required employees…

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SEC Drops Hammer in New Pre-taliation Case

Well, now we know the consequences of imposing pre-taliation agreements upon employees and then using those agreements to stifle SEC investigations or would-be whistleblowers. It’s much more painful than any pre-talation sanctions we’ve seen so far. On Tuesday the SEC fined an Oklahoma oil services company $1.4 million for those pre-taliation abuses—a penalty far larger…

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SEC Strikes Again on Pre-taliation

pre-taliation

The Securities and Exchange Commission took another whack at corporate pre-taliation agreements Monday, fining a Virginia technology company $180,000 for imposing severance agreements that forbid departing employees from talking to the SEC. The company, NeuStar Inc., had used the agreements with at least 246 employees from 2011 into 2015, according to the SEC. The agreements…

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