We Must Stop Illegal Gag Orders

The post below was co-authored by Stephen M. Kohn, Michael D. Kohn David K. Colapinto, partners of the law firm Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto, LLP.

 One of the most destructive tools used to silence whistleblowers are non-disclosure agreements (often found in employment contracts and severance agreements) which prohibit employees from disclosing fraud and other crimes to law enforcement agencies. Today’s Washington Post story exemplifies the problems faced by employees in every sector of the economy who are required to sign these gag orders in order to obtain jobs or badly needed severance payments.

On March 9th, we filed a complaint with the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission seeking to have these agencies take strong action against illegal gag orders. The complaint, based on information provided to the government by former KBR employee Harry Barko, exposed how KBR forced its employees to sign illegal gag orders when they were disclosing fraud in government contracting to company officials. This complaint was reported in the Washington Post on March 10th. Since then, the SEC has initiated an investigation into these practices. Today’s Post story indicates that momentum is building to stop these practices.

On behalf of all of our clients who have been forced to sign what amounts to illegal gag orders, and the hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of other employees and former employees who are gagged from blowing the whistle to law enforcement agencies in order to earn a living. We hope that our government will take aggressive and effective enforcement actions to end this practice.

We ask that you contact Members of Congress, the Attorney General and the Chairman of the SEC asking that they take immediate action to address the obstruction of justice these gag provisions represent.

Exit mobile version