On May 5, 2023, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued an order (the “Order”)1 providing that it would pay a $279 million award to a whistleblower who assisted with the enforcement of an action by the SEC and two other related actions brought by unnamed agencies.
On February 3, 2023, the SEC announced that Activision Blizzard Inc. — the publicly traded video game developer and publisher of such well-known videogames as “Candy Crush” and “World of Warcraft” — “agreed to pay $35 million to settle charges that it failed to maintain disclosure controls and procedures to ensure that the company could assess whether its disclosures pertaining to its workforce were adequate” and “violated an SEC whistleblower protection rule” by impeding employees “from communicating directly with the Commission staff about a possible securities law violation.”
As someone who has tried more than his share of cases, I have come to the conclusion that retaliation claims are often more difficult to defend than plain discrimination claims.
The new Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) emergency temporary standard mandating various COVID-19 policies and procedures for employers with at least 100 employees (“ETS”) has an uncertain future in light of recent legal challenges.
As discussed in our recent blog post, the Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act of 2019 (“CAARA”) was, earlier this year, assigned for implementation to Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (“OSHA”) Whistleblower Protection program.
At this point, most employers probably know that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) is charged with investigating far more than workplace safety. Indeed, OSHA has a robust Whistleblower Protection Program that oversees worker retaliation complaints pursuant to over 20 different federal whistleblower laws.