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Joseph C. TorisBlog Posts

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SEC Adopts Amendments to Whistleblower Program Rules

The Securities and Exchange Commission has voted to adopt numerous amendments to the rules governing its whistleblower program. See https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2020-219 The whistleblower program serves as a significant tool for the Commission to encourage individuals to come forward with information regarding suspected security fraud. As set forth in the SEC’s press release, “The amendments to the...… Continue Reading
October 7, 2020

Investigating Complaints Containing Second-Hand Information in the COVID-19 Era

As the country faces a wave of COVID-19 closure orders, individuals are being encouraged to report violations.  Hypothetically, these reports could originate from just about anyone – employees, employees’ family members, customers, neighbors, the general public.  Given the wide range of potential complainants, these reports may not always be based on first-hand observations. When investigating...… Continue Reading
April 6, 2020

Investigating Complaints Containing Second-Hand Information in the COVID-19 Era

As the country faces a wave of COVID-19 closure orders, individuals are being encouraged to report violations.  Hypothetically, these reports could originate from just about anyone – employees, employees’ family members, customers, neighbors, the general public.  Given the wide range of potential complainants, these reports may not always be based on first-hand observations. When investigating... Continue Reading…
April 6, 2020

Who is the Audience for an Internal Investigation Report?

Too often, internal investigators mistakenly conclude that their reports are for the exclusive review of decision-makers.  Sometimes, this may be true.  However, more often than not, there are two audiences of which an investigator should be mindful – a primary audience and a secondary audience. The primary audience is the immediate recipient(s) of the report. ...… Continue Reading
November 12, 2019

One Size Does Not Fit All: The Need for a Tailored Code of Conduct

Codes of Conduct are designed to set forth an organization’s values and principles, while detailing expectations for employees. In many ways, it is one of the most important documents an organization can develop. At times, when an employer decides it needs to develop a Code, it often asks counsel whether there is a sample Code...… Continue Reading
March 22, 2019

The Waiting Is the Hardest Part: Staff Decreases, Whistleblower Claim Increases Strain OSHA

A February 20, 2019 article from Bloomberg Law provides statistics to explain the significant delays experienced by litigators and attorneys alike in Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s investigation of whistleblower claims A substantial increase in the number of whistleblower complaints filed with OSHA over the past five years and a contemporaneous decrease in the number...… Continue Reading
February 25, 2019

Effective Compliance Programs Require a Commitment from the Top

Written by Jessica L. Sussman, Joseph C. Toris and Summer Law Clerk Bridget Jeong We follow the leader wherever we go, and that applies to compliance, as well. While federal and state laws require organizations to adopt compliance programs, a low level of commitment to these compliance efforts from the highest levels of management can...… Continue Reading
July 12, 2018

Effective Compliance Starts at Home: Ensuring Your Company Learns of Issues Before Everyone Else Does

The need for an effective compliance program to assist companies in preventing, detecting and, if necessary, promptly correcting issues before they become problems is nothing new. However, there is an increased focus by the government designed to induce employees to report suspected unlawful conduct by their employers to regulatory agencies. While this focus may benefit consumers...… Continue Reading
June 26, 2018

Record High Awards and Supreme Court Decision Further Incent Potential Whistleblowers to Report Conduct to the SEC

On March 19, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced its highest ever Dodd-Frank Act (“DFA”) bounty awards to three whistleblowers. These SEC awards represent a new milestone in the SEC’s ongoing efforts to incentivize would-be whistleblowers to report unlawful conduct directly to the Commission. Two whistleblowers will divide a nearly $50 million award...… Continue Reading
June 19, 2018

Retaliation Plaintiff Not a Covered Whistleblower under Plain Reading of Dodd-Frank Act, Court Rules

A former employee who failed to show he reported alleged securities law violations to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as required under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (DFA), cannot claim his former employer unlawfully retaliated against him, federal Judge William J. Martini has ruled. Price v. UBS Financial Services, Inc.,...… Continue Reading
June 1, 2018

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