With increased public and governmental scrutiny of corporate practices, and with the plaintiff’s bar leveraging allegations of wrongdoing under federal law when pursuing claims of retaliation, whistleblower complaints have spiked dramatically in recent years. Recognizing this trend, this blog discusses important developments in whistleblower law at the federal and state levels.
Whistleblower complaints rarely implicate only one area of substantive law. Because whistleblowers combine retaliation claims with allegations of underlying improper or unlawful conduct, we created an interdisciplinary “SWAT Team” of experienced lawyers from our Labor & Employment, Government Contracts, White Collar, Health Care, and/or Environment and Natural Resources groups to investigate the whistleblower’s claims. Our SWAT Team investigates activities that may have driven the whistleblower’s report, the substance of the underlying claim, the information available to and known by management at the time of the initial report of misconduct, and management’s responses to the original report. We provide advice on how to manage suspected whistleblowers who remain in the workplace or in some other manner threaten the stability or security of the business. We provide solutions for the company to address any underlying non-compliance and to ensure that the whistleblower does not compromise the employer’s business during the pendency of the investigation. Finally, we work with our clients to develop proactive approaches to compliance, internal complaint reporting, and internal investigations to enhance a culture of compliance and to minimize complaints of wrongdoing or retaliation.
Crowell & Moring has a rich and long history of successfully defending companies against claims of wrongdoing asserted under the False Claims Act, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Dodd Frank Act, the U.K. Bribery Act, New Jersey’s Conscientious Employee Protection Act, and other state, federal, and international whistleblower laws. Our successes extend both to our defense of retaliation claims and to our defense of the underlying claim of wrongdoing.