SEC Clamps Down On Agreements Thought to “Chill” Whistleblower Activity

    View Author April 2015

    The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently sent letters to numerous, unnamed companies requesting every nondisclosure agreement, confidentiality agreement, severance agreement, and settlement agreement the companies have entered into with employees since the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) was enacted, as well as any other documents related to corporate training on confidentiality, in order to assess whether the documents unduly interfere with the ability of employees to report securities violations to the SEC. This closely follows a petition by a coalition of whistleblower advocates urging the SEC to curb companies’ actions that undermine the SEC’s whistleblower program. This publication discusses the SEC’s intention to use such agreements as evidence of retaliation by companies against whistleblowers in violation of the anti-retaliation provisions in Dodd-Frank.