Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Tim Garrett was interviewed for an article outlining the impact the SEC's focus on employment agreements could have on whistleblower activity. The SEC is concerned that provisions in employment agreements could prevent employees from recovering financial incentives if they come forward as a whistleblower, a direct violation of SEC regulation. As Tim points out, "[t]he Commission's enforcement actions in this area have emphasized company actions that could prevent employees from invoking their legal rights or which could prevent employees from claiming whistleblower awards." The article cites recent SEC enforcement actions against three companies whose employment agreements violated SEC regulations related to whistleblower activity. Later in the article, Tim references several best practices a company can follow to address concerns.
The full article, "Strategic Perspectives – Bass Berry's Tim Garrett Discusses Whistleblower Enforcement Trends," was published in the Securities Regulation Daily Wrap Up distributed by Wolters Kluwer (subscription required).
Tim also authored a blog post, "SEC Fines Public Companies for Attempting to Limit Whistleblower Incentives in Severance Agreements," about this topic that was published on the Bass, Berry & Sims Labor Talk blog.