John F. Fullerton III, a Member of the Firm in the Labor and Employment practice, in the firm’s New York office, was quoted in Law360, in "SEC Declares Open Season on Employee Agreements," by Stephanie Russell-Kraft. (Read the full version — subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

There are still instances in which employers can claim attorney-client privilege with such agreements, according to labor and employment attorney John F. Fullerton III of Epstein Becker Green, who represents companies in whistleblower cases. KBR violated the SEC’s rules because it hired investigators, not lawyers, to conduct internal reviews.

"Sometimes witnesses don’t learn about allegations until some lawyer sits them down and tells them," said Fullerton, who added that the SEC’s anti-retaliation rules do contain provisions to allow for the protection of privilege.

Nonetheless, he said, the agency is "very serious" about what employers say in employment agreements, confidentiality agreements and separation agreements.

Employers who aren’t careful still run the risk of writing a confidentiality provision that runs afoul of the SEC’s rules, according to Fullerton. Such a provision wouldn’t necessarily need to prohibit employees from going to the SEC, but if it’s written in such ambiguous language that employees might be scared to — like KBR’s — employers might find themselves on the wrong side of an SEC investigation.

Jump to Page

Privacy Preference Center

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.