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Thomson Reuters Accused of Securities Violations and Wrongful Termination

Former Thomson Reuters employee, Mark Rosenblum has sued them for wrongful termination after he blew the whistle on what he believed to be a violation of  securities laws.    According to Rosenblum, who worked as a Redistribution Specialist, Thomson Reuters gave selected subscribers a 2-second jump on potentially market-moving information, with a 3-tiered release program.

In his complaint, Rosenblum states that,  the tiered release provides a bimonthly release of information to "ultra low-latency" subscribers at 2 seconds before 9:55 a.m., followed by "desktop" subscribers at 9:55 a.m., followed by release to the public at 10:00 a.m.    Consequently,  the "ultra low-latency" subscribers had a 2 second head start to make transactions based upon information that other subscribers did not have access to yet.

Rosenblum formed the reasonable belief that the Product's tiered distribution violated securities laws barring insider trading.  Therefore, on June 29, 2012, Rosenblum informed the  FBI that Thomson's tiered release product violated federal securities laws.   That same day, he also notified his managing director, the president, general counsel and the Thomson employee Ethics Hotline that he had contacted federal investigators regarding the product's tiered release.

Within weeks, Rosenblum was terminated with no severance and without compensating him for any of his accrued vacation days.

Nationally, Whistle-blowing is protected by  the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an employee may not be penalized for contacting a government agency about violations of federal provisions concerning securities fraud. Whistleblowers may not be transferred, denied a raise, have their hours reduced, or be fired or punished in any other way because they have exercised any right afforded to them under one of the laws that protect whistleblowers.

Whistleblowing is also protected by California State Law:

1102.5.  (b) An employer may not retaliate against an employee for
disclosing information to a government or law enforcement agency,
where the employee has reasonable cause to believe that the
information discloses a violation of state or federal statute, or a
violation or noncompliance with a state or federal rule or
regulation.

Also, in California, When an employee is terminated, the employer must have his or her final paycheck (including all accrued vacation pay) ready on the day of termination.  Failure to do so subjects the employer to “waiting time penalties” for every day the employer fails to give the former employee their paycheck.

If you have been wrongfully terminated or have suffered discrimination, please give California Employment Attorney, Todd M. Friedman a call at (877) 449-8898 for a free consultation.

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