SEC Brings 1st Whistleblower Action Over Confidentiality Pact

Law360, New York (April 1, 2015, 11:14 AM EDT) -- The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday brought its first enforcement action against a company for attempting to stifle the whistleblowing process through improperly restrictive language in a confidentiality agreement.

Houston-based global technology and engineering firm KBR Inc. agreed to pay $130,000 to settle the SEC's charges that some of its confidentiality agreements included language warning employees that they could face discipline or be fired if they discussed internal investigations with outside parties without first getting approval from KBR's legal department.

Such practices are illegal under the SEC's Rule 21F-17, enacted under the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010.

"By requiring its...

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