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Aveta Settles Suit Alleging it Defrauded Medicare of $1 Billion

Josh Valdez, a former executive for a subsidiary of Aveta Inc., sued the company, claiming it had spent years engaged in a scheme to defraud Medicare of hundreds of millions of dollars. The lawsuit was originally filed in April 2011, but was under court seal until early 2014 and went through an extensive court process Read More

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Colorado Jury Awards Track Inspector $1.05 Million in Damages in Whistleblower Retaliation Claim

A jury in Colorado recently awarded Brandon Fresquez $1.05 million in damages for his whistleblower retaliation claim filed against BNSF Railway Company. The award includes $800,000 in emotional distress damages and $250,000 in punitive damages. Fresquez served as a track inspector at BNSF, and was responsible for analyzing tracks, finding defects and remediating those defects Read More

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Alaskan Aviation Company Will Pay $500,000 in Whistleblower Case

Bald Mountain Air Service, an aviation company based in Anchorage, Alaska, will pay out $500,000 in a whistleblower case in accordance with a ruling handed down by an administrative law judge. The company will appeal the ruling, which was issued by Judge Scott R. Morris on October 10. In issuing the ruling, Morris found the Read More

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Springfield Terminal Railway in Massachusetts to Pay $85,000 to Settle Claim Involving Violation of Whistleblower Laws

Springfield Terminal Railway, Inc. was recently ordered by the U.S. Department of Labor to pay $85,000 after it reportedly violated multiple federal whistleblower statutes. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an employee of the railway operator sustained an injury on the job at the company’s Andover, Massachusetts, facility. The next day, the Read More

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Gag Orders at Federal Agencies Violate Whistleblower Laws

Over the last year and a half, there have been numerous reports about employees of federal agencies not being allowed to use specific words when preparing documents for Congress or when putting together reports. For example, in December, The Washington Post reported the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended employees not use words like Read More

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Supreme Court Decision Places Limitations on the Protections for Corporate Whistleblowers

A February U.S. Supreme Court decision significantly limited the protections available for corporate whistleblowers. The court ruled in the case of Digital Realty Trust v. Somers that corporate whistleblowers are not protected from termination unless they reported possible instances of fraud to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The case is a big blow for Read More

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Supreme Court to Hear Case Involving Whistleblower Retaliation

The U.S. Supreme Court announced it will take up a case that could determine if corporate whistleblowers have the same protections against retaliation when they report their concerns about misconduct internally as they do when they report them to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The case in question is Digital Realty Trust v. Somers. Read More

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SandRidge Energy Inc. Settles Whistleblower Retaliation Case

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently announced that SandRidge Energy Inc., an Oklahoma City-based oil and gas company, has settled charges of illegal separation agreements and whistleblower retaliation. The company agreed to pay a fine of $1.4 million, but did not admit fault as part of the settlement. According to the SEC, SandRidge Read More

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OECD Issues New Report on Worldwide Whistleblower Protections

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recently released a new report entitled “Committing to Effective Whistleblower Protection.” The publication contains information on the variety of whistleblower protection statutes in OECD countries. According to the report, more OECD countries have passed new whistleblower protection laws in the past five years than in the previous Read More

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SEC Aims to Ensure Whistleblowers are Uninhibited

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has done a lot to increase the protections afforded to whistleblowers in the last several years. In 2015, the agency took several steps to further ensure whistleblowers are not prevented from coming forward and reporting incidents of wrongdoing within their organizations. Since the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act of Read More

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