Compliance » Whistleblower Protection Standard Whipsawed In Second Circuit

Whistleblower Protection Standard Whipsawed In Second Circuit

September 30, 2014

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An advisory from McKenna Long & Aldridge notes that two recent Second Circuit decisions had the effect of broadening whistleblower protection under Sarbanes-Oxley, but narrowing it under Dodd-Frank. In the first case, Nielsen v. AECOM Technology Corp., the court affirmed a Department of Labor Administrative Review Board decision that a whistleblower plaintiff’s communication does not have to “definitively and specifically relate” to a violation in order to qualify as protected activity, as long as the plaintiff has a subjective and reasonable belief that it does. But in Meng-Lin v. Siemens AG, a matter involving a citizen of Taiwan, the court proved to be more employer-friendly, finding there was no evidence Congress intended the anti-retaliation provision of Dodd-Frank to apply extraterritorially.

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