Tag Archives: whisteblowers

Second Circuit Confirms Burden of Proof in SOX Whistleblower Retaliation Cases

By:  John F. Fullerton III

On March 5, 2013, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals clarified the burden-shifting framework applicable to whistleblower retaliation claims under Section 806 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1514A.  In Bechtel v. Administrative Review Board et al., (pdf), the Court issued a decision, consistent with prior decisions of several other Circuits, that affirmed the burden of proof standard applied by the Administrative Review Board (ARB) in its decision, which affirmed an administrative law judge’s (ALJ) decision that had dismissed the employee’s retaliation claim, but applied an erroneous standard in so doing.

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Local Governments Encourage Whistleblowing of Food Safety Problems

The Interim Measures on Rewards to Whistleblowers of Food Safety Problems (Interim Measures), issued by the Shanghai Administration for Industry and Commerce, took effect on January 20, 2013.  Under the Interim Measures, the first whistleblower of a food safety problem that results in a punitive administrative decision is entitled to a reward calculated as a percentage of the total value of the problematic foods.  Specifically, the initial whistleblower will receive 1% ~ 2% if he or she provides only clues to the problem, or 2% ~ 5% if he or she provides facts, and will be no less than RMB 500 and no more than RMB 200,000.  Moreover, according to Clause 14 of the Interim Measures, whistleblower rewards are granted on a case-by-case basis, i.e., a person can obtain multiple rewards if he or she continues to report different food safety problems to the Government.  In addition to Shanghai, many other localities in China have adopted a similar strategy to encourage whistleblowers of food safety problems to come forward.  For example, in Beijing from September 2, 2011, and in Tianjin from June 15, 2012, whistleblowers are entitled to rewards ranging from 1% ~ 5% of the total value of the problematic foods.  These reward schemes are capped at RMB 100,000, or at RMB 300,000 in extremely significant cases.  Likewise, in Guangdong Province from December 30, 2011, whistleblowers will be rewarded 1% ~ 5% of the administrative fines actually collected by the government up to RMB 300,000, and in Shandong Province from October 23, 2012, whistleblowers will be rewarded 1% ~ 10% of the total value of the problematic foods if the whistleblowing results in a criminal conviction. More…

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