In the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank), Congress has crafted an array of bounty awards and whistleblower protections broadly affecting securities, commodities and futures, and consumer financial products firms and those associated with them. Although there was an opportunity to create incentives promoting internal reporting in aid of corporate compliance programs and to rationalize whistleblowing with standardized definitions, procedures and remedies, Congress went in different directions. The result is a set of whistleblower inducements that may frustrate attainment of corporate compliance objectives by driving whistleblowers outside the organization and an enigmatic patchwork of whistleblower protections laden with internal variations that must be mastered.
Bloomberg Article Examines Whistleblower Awards and Protections under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
You may have read a controversial and thought-provoking article in the July/August issue of The Atlantic magazine called “The End of Men.” The article poses the following question: “What if the modern, postindustrial economy is simply more congenial to women than to men?” After all, as author Hanna Rosin points out, many more men than women lost their jobs during the recent recession, women now make up the majority of the U.S. workforce, most of the job categories that are expected to grow in the next decade are dominated by women, and women are obtaining more B.A. degrees than men. Ms. Rosin believes that all of these developments suggest that “the modern economy is becoming a place where women hold the cards.”
But is the picture really that rosy for women?
On July 26, 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice released new regulations under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on accessibility for places of public accommodation. “Places of public accommodation” are facilities operated by private entities whose operations affect commerce and fall within at least one of several categories that include a […]
On July 28, 2010, Judge Susan R. Bolton of the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona issued a preliminary injunction that prevents the most controversial sections of Arizona’s new immigration law (SB 1070) from taking effect. While not finally deciding the constitutionality of SB 1070, the Court found that several of its provisions were likely unconstitutional because they were “preempted” by federal immigration laws and that the failure to issue the injunction would result in substantial harm to the public interest.
SB 1070 took effect on July 29, 2010, but many of the provisions that most angered opponents have been enjoined. These include:
The recent passage of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program Extension and Extended Benefits Temporary Provisions Extension did not extend the subsidy of COBRA benefits. Congress had previously extended the subsidy for COBRA benefits through May 31, 2010. The COBRA subsidy provided a 65% health insurance premium subsidy for up to 15 months to qualified employees […]
An employee claiming Whistleblower protection under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act must have actually believed that his company’s conduct was illegal in order to state a claim under the Act, according to a recent decision by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Gale v. U.S. Department of Labor, Case No. 08-14232 11th Cir. June 25, 2010) (pdf).
The case arose when Michael Gale was terminated from his employment at World Financial Group (“WFG”). Gale filed a Whistleblower complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which enforces the SOX Whistleblower provisions. Gale alleged that he was terminated because he opposed decisions made by company officers relating to waste and misuse of corporate funds, and because he raised concerns regarding the alleged violation of SEC rules and regulations.
Just a quick update on our previous post. BC Hydro announced today that it received registrations from 14 proponents for 19 bioenergy projects in response to the May 31 Bioenergy Phase 2 Call request for proposals. Names of the proponents or descriptions of the projects have not been released.
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Bloomberg Law Video of Allen Roberts Interview on Whistleblower Rights and Protections in Wall Street Financial Reform Bill
We continue to follow developments on Wall Street financial reform legislation and the whistleblower rights and protections that will come with its enactment. Now recast as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the bill will be considered with its Conference Report (pdf).
A preview of the legislation is addressed in the interview of Allen Roberts by Bloomberg legal analyst Spencer Mazyck, now available in video, below:
From my new colleague, Jenny Kirkpatrick:
On May 31, 2010, BC Hydro issued a Request for Proposals in relation to the long term supply of clean or renewable biomass energy generated by new projects in British Columbia (the “Bioenergy Phase 2 Call”). Those intending to submit a Proposal must first register with BC Hydro and the registration deadline is fast approaching – July 15, 2010 at 4pm.
With the recent announcement of the Clean Energy Act coming into force, it is worth noting that there is a direct effect on the Bioenergy Phase 2 Call insofar as the Utilities Commission Act (“UCA”) is concerned. It is anticipated that BC Hydro will post an Addendum and/or Notice(s) to the RFP website to address modifications to the RFP process required to accommodate all impacts of the Clean Energy Act, including exemptions from certain procedural requirements to which energy supply contracts in British Columbia are normally subject.