Why Securities Lawyers Are The New Employment Lawyers

10 minute read | November.15.2017

In early 2018, corporate America will be waiting with bated breath as the U.S. Supreme Court decides a game-changing whistleblower retaliation case. For employees thinking about blowing the whistle on financial malfeasance, this decision will resolve a circuit split and clarify when protections arise: Is it enough to report concerns to a supervisor, or is U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission reporting required? Either way, the decision will fundamentally alter the relationship between companies and potential whistleblowers nationwide.

The tension between companies and whistleblowers has been fomenting for some time. When the SEC filed a whistleblower retaliation case against a public company in December 2016 for firing an employee who questioned an internal accounting policy, and, just two months later, a federal jury awarded the fired general counsel of another public company nearly $11 million for raising concerns about potential Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, corporate America was put on notice: retaliation against an internal whistleblower is not just an employment matter, it’s now a significant federal securities matter as well.

Originally published in Law360; reprinted with permission.