Year after year, we see substantial activity in the area of whistleblower retaliation law, an area that presents significant reputational and financial risks to employers of all sizes.
This last year had a unique twist as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, has been inundated with thousands of whistleblower complaints related to alleged health and safety violations.
COVID-19 whistleblowers have also initiated litigation in federal and state courts, alleging they have been retaliated against for raising concerns related to the virus in violation of whistleblower protection statutes as well as common law.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's Office of the Whistleblower reported a record-breaking year for its whistleblower program, and questions abound as to whether, and to what extent, the pandemic played a role.
In addition, courts have continued to issue noteworthy decisions under various whistleblower laws, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act.
Here are the top 10 whistleblowing and retaliation events of the past year.