Category: Whistleblower Claims

If a Whistleblower is Just Playing the Same Old Tune, Does the Law Protect Him?

If a Whistleblower is Just Playing the Same Old Tune, Does the Law Protect Him?

Some of the trickiest employment decisions can involve employees who have made accusatory complaints against the company they work for. Many state and federal laws protect “whistleblowers” who try to bring to light illegal behavior by their employers. But in many instances employers legitimately wonder whether the complaint was made in “good faith,” or just to stir up trouble, or...

Quirky Question # 227, New Bells and Whistles in Minnesota Statute

Quirky Question # 227, New Bells and Whistles in Minnesota Statute

Question: We have an employee who we have been planning to terminate because of performance issues.  This employee may have realized this was coming because he recently sent an email to a number of people claiming that our company policies violate the law.  We have been aware of these possible problems before his emails were sent and already have been...

Quirky Question # 175: In-House Counsel Barred From Qui Tam Action Against Former Employer

Quirky Question # 175: In-House Counsel Barred From Qui Tam Action Against Former Employer

Question: I know you have written in the past about former in-house counsel suing their former employers in connection with their terminations. We have a slightly different twist on that situation. Our former in-house counsel has filed a qui tam lawsuit against our firm based on information he learned while employed and his supposition about what occurred after his employment...

Lawyer Whistleblower Ethics – A Difficult Duty

Lawyer Whistleblower Ethics – A Difficult Duty

Bill Wernz, the former Executive Director of the Office of Lawyers’ Professional Responsibility, has written an article for Minnesota Lawyer (July 12, 2010, Vol. 14, No. 28) that focuses on ethical issues recently addressed in our blog. With approval from Minnesota Lawyer, Bill’s article is reprinted below.

In-House Counsel as Whistleblower, Kidwell vs. Sybaritic, Inc.

In-House Counsel as Whistleblower, Kidwell vs. Sybaritic, Inc.

The Minnesota Supreme Court finally has ruled on Kidwell v. Sybaritic, Inc., Nos. A07-584 and 788 (June 24, 2010), the “in-house counsel as whistle-blower” case that was pending before it for more than 18 months. Unfortunately, the Court’s ruling has not brought clarity to this area of the law.

Unethical or Illegal?  Quirky Question # 146

Unethical or Illegal? Quirky Question # 146

Quirky Question # 146: One of our employees recently complained about certain company practices that she contended were unethical.  She did not contend the company engaged in illegal activity — just unethical conduct.  We pointed out to her that we did not want someone working for the company if she truly believed we were engaging in unethical practices.  Our anxiety about this situation...

Sarbanes-Oxley, Quirky Question # 74

Sarbanes-Oxley, Quirky Question # 74

Quirky Question # 74: We have been having some performance issues with one of our mid-level marketing managers.  In October, we placed him on a performance improvement plan.  He has not been meeting the expectations established by the plan.  We are scheduled to meet with him about his performance again next week, and it is very likely that we will...