JONATHAN STEMPEL / REUTERS – A divided U.S. appeals court on Thursday made it easier for some corporate whistleblowers to sue over alleged retaliation, raising the prospect that the U.S. Supreme Court may need to address the issue.
By a 2-1 vote, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York revived a lawsuit in which Daniel Berman, a former finance director at the Neo@Ogilvy digital media unit of advertising company WPP Plc, claimed he was fired because he reported accounting irregularities to his superiors.
Circuit Judge Jon Newman accepted the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s view that Berman could seek whistleblower protection under the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reforms, despite not having reported his concerns to the SEC before his firing.
That marked a departure from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, which in 2013 found a reporting requirement. The Supreme Court often reviews matters where circuit courts are split …