Direct: (202) 262-8959
1629 K St NW #300
Washington, DC 20006
Experienced Whistleblower Advocate
Jason Zuckerman litigates whistleblower retaliation, whistleblower rewards, wrongful discharge, and other employment-related claims. He represents whistleblowers worldwide in disclosing fraud to the SEC through the SEC Whistleblower Program and authors the firm’s Whistleblower Protection Law Blog.
His broad experience includes practicing employment law at a national law firm, serving as a Principal at The Employment Law Group, and serving as Senior Legal Advisor to the Special Counsel at the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, the federal agency charged with protecting whistleblowers in the federal government. In 2012, the Secretary of Labor appointed Zuckerman to serve on the Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee, which makes recommendations to the Secretary of Labor to improve OSHA’s administration of federal whistleblower protections.
At OSC, Zuckerman worked on several high-profile investigations, including a whistleblower retaliation case resulting in the removal of an Inspector General. He also took an active role in the agency’s implementation of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, expanded the agency’s outreach program, and drafted amicus curiae briefs on key issues concerning federal employee whistleblower rights and protections.
Zuckerman is proud of the results that he has achieved for clients in a wide variety of employment matters, including recoveries in excess of $15M under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act whistleblower provision, and the high level of customer service that the firm aims to provide to every client. Corporate Counsel recently featured Zuckerman in an article titled How to Help a Whistleblower.
Recognized by Peers as a Leading Whistleblower Lawyer
Zuckerman is rated 10 out of 10 by Avvo, based largely on client reviews, and rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell based on peer reviews. He was recognized by Washingtonian magazine as a “Top Whistleblower Lawyer” in 2015, selected by his peers to be included in The Best Lawyers in America® in the category of employment law (2011-2017), and selected by his peers to be listed in SuperLawyers (2012 and 2015-2017) in the category of labor and employment law.
Frequent Lecturer and Prolific Author on Corporate Whistleblower Rewards and Protections
He has lectured extensively on whistleblower law and employment law, especially on Dodd-Frank, Sarbanes-Oxley and False Claims Act actions, and has written several articles on whistleblower protections. Zuckerman co-authored a chapter on litigating whistleblower cases for Whistleblowing: The Law of Retaliatory Discharge, drafted a chapter on the D.C. Whistleblower Protection Act for the D.C. Practice Manual, and is a contributing author to The International Handbook on Whistleblowing Research.
For nearly a decade, Zuckerman has been a contributing author to an annual update on the whistleblower protection provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act published by the ABA Fair Labor Standards Legislation Committee. Zuckerman’s articles have been cited in various treatises and in a federal court opinion on the scope of Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower protection. Zuckerman has trained administrative law judges, agency EEO directors, senior OIG officials and delegations from more than 30 countries on federal whistleblower protections.
Zuckerman serves as Co-Chair of the Whistleblower Subcommittee of the ABA Labor and Employment Section’s Employee Rights and Responsibilities Committee and served as Co-Chair of the National Employment Lawyers Association’s Whistleblower Committee, Co-Chair of the Sarbanes-Oxley Subcommittee of the ABA Labor and Employment Fair Labor Standards Legislation Committee, Co-Chair of the Whistleblower Committee of the District of Columbia Bar’s Labor and Employment Section, and member of Law 360’s Employment Editorial Advisory Board.
Effective Advocate Working to Strengthen Whistleblower Rights and Protections
In addition to shaping whistleblower protection law through successful outcomes for clients, Zuckerman has worked with whistleblower advocates to draft and lobby for passage of whistleblower protection laws, and advocate for more effective and vigorous enforcement of whistleblower protection laws. Zuckerman drafted portions of the 2009 amendments to the D.C. Whistleblower Protection Act, which is now the strongest public sector whistleblower protection statute at the state level, and testified at a hearing about those amendments. Zuckerman’s recommendations for improving OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program are cited in Congressional hearing testimony and a top-to-bottom review of the program, and comments that he co-authored are cited in final regulations implementing the whistleblower protection provisions of the Energy Reorganization Act and six environmental statutes. He also led a coalition of whistleblower advocates in meetings with the SEC Chairman, two other Commissioners and senior SEC staff to offer the whistleblower perspective on proposed regulations implementing the whistleblower reward provision of the Dodd-Frank Act. Zuckerman has drafted amicus curiae briefs in leading whistleblower retaliation cases, including Palmer v. Canadian Nat’l Railway, Powers v. Union Pacific Railroad, Johnson v. Siemens, Bonds v. Leavitt, and Welch v. Chao, and his advice on whistleblower protections is cited in Financial Statement Fraud: Prevention and Detection, Managing Risk in Communication Encounters: Strategies for the Workplace, and Nonprofit Financial Management: A Practical Guide.
Frequently Quoted in the Media About Whistleblower Rights
Zuckerman is frequently quoted by leading business and legal periodicals, including Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Forbes, The National Law Journal, CFO, BNA’s Daily Labor Report, The Washington Post, Investment Adviser Week, Fiscal Times, Human Resources Executive Online, HR Magazine, TaxAnalysts, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Houston Chronicle, HR News, New Jersey Law Journal, cyberFEDS, HR Executive, Washington Examiner, Workforce Management, ABA Journal, CCH’s Labor and Employment Law, Law360 other print and electronic media.
Zuckerman graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Georgetown University and received his law degree from the University of Virginia, where he served as Articles Editor of the Virginia Journal of Law and Technology. In law school, he received the University of Virginia School of Law’s Pro Bono Award for his advocacy on behalf of prison inmates and mentally disabled individuals and helped establish a successful pro bono program that encourages students to volunteer a minimum of 150 hours of pro bono service during law school.
He is admitted to practice before the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia bars, the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second, Fourth, and Federal Circuits, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, and the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.
Zuckerman is frequently called upon to speak on whistleblower rights and protections. He has served as a panelist at continuing legal education seminars throughout the United States, trained administrative law judges and senior government officials, and briefed delegations from more than twenty countries about whistleblower rights and protections.Panelist: “Representing Corporate Whistleblowers,” NELA CLE titled Reining In Retaliation & Winning Whistleblower Cases, April 8-9, 2016
Panelist: “Effectively Addressing Alleged Misconduct Committed by Purported Whistleblowers: No Good/Bad Deed Goes Unpunished,” ABA Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee Midwinter Meeting, March 15-19, 2016
Panelist: Internal Investigations, SEC and Whistleblower CLE Seminar, Rosedale, December 3, 2015
Panelist: Taxpayers Against Fraud IRS, CFTC and SEC Boot Camp, November 16, 2015
Panelist: “Recent Developments in Whistleblower Law,” ABA 9th Annual Section of Labor & Employment Law Conference, November 7, 2015
Panelist and Moderator: “Recent Developments In Whistleblower Law,” NELA Webinar, September 30, 2015
Panelist: “Corporate Whistleblowing Forum: The Preeminent Forum on Open Reporting of Fraud, Misconduct, Impropriety and White Collar Crime,” September 9, 2015
Panelist: “Emerging Issues in Whistleblower Law,” ALI Advanced Course Current Developments in Employment Law, July 2015
Panelist: “Plaintiff Views — Preparing for the Fallout from Private Litigation: Insights into the Litigation Landscape and Prospects for Privately Represented Whistleblowers,” American Conference Institute Advanced Forum on Whistleblower Litigation, July 2015
Panelist: “Representing Whistleblowers in the Federal Government,” National Employment Lawyers Association Conference, June 2015
Panelist: “Whistleblower Reward and Retaliation Claims: Current Developments,” Bloomberg BNA webinar, March 31, 2015
Panelist: “Office of Special Counsel Update,” ABA Federal Sector Labor & Employment Law Committee, February 25, 2015
Panelist: “SOX, OSHA and Beyond: Litigating Whistleblower Claims at the U.S. Department of Labor,” ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law CLE, Tampa, FL, December 8, 2014
Panelist: “Navigating the Maze of Private Sector Whistleblower Anti-Retaliation Laws,” Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association, November 18, 2014
Panelist: “Developments and Trends in SOX and Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Litigation,” ABA 8th Annual Section of Labor & Employment Law Conference, November 6, 2014
Panelist: “Strategies For Representing Whistleblowers In The Federal Government,” NELA CLE titled “Representing Federal Employees: Navigating A Complex Landscape,” October 18, 2014
Panelist: “SOX, OSHA and Beyond: Litigating Whistleblower Claims at the U.S. Department of Labor,” ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law CLE, Washington, D.C., September 18, 2014
Panelist: “Navigating the Maze of Private Sector Whistleblower Protections: Recent Developments in Sarbanes-Oxley, Dodd-Frank, and False Claims Act Whistleblower Litigation,” 44th Annual VBA Conference on Labor Relations and Employment Law, September 12, 2014
Course Chair: “Recent Developments in Qui Tam, IRS, and SEC Whistleblower Rewards Claims,” DC Bar CLE, July 22, 2014
Course Chair: “Recent Developments in Sarbanes-Oxley, Dodd-Frank, and False Claims Act Whistleblower Retaliation and Litigation,” DC Bar CLE, July 15, 2014
Panelist: “Practice Before the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB): What Happens After the Whistle is Blown?,” DC Bar CLE, May 22, 2014
Panelist: “Recent Developments in Whistleblower Reward and Retaliation Claims Including Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank Claims,” Bloomberg BNA webinar, April 30, 2014
Panelist: “Handling Whistleblower Claims: New Opportunities Create More Complex and Emerging Issues for Employment Lawyers,” ABA Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee Midwinter Meeting, March 20, 2014
Panelist: “Whistleblower Investigations: A How-to Guide,” ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law, March 5, 2014
Panelist: “MSPB/OSC Update,” ABA Federal Sector Labor & Employment Law Committee, February 12, 2014
Panelist: “New Developments at the Office of Special Counsel,” ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice Government Personnel Committee, October 30, 2012
Panelist: “Issue Spotting & Client Intake For Whistleblower & Retaliation Claims,” NELA Conference titled “Shining The Light On Whistleblower & Retaliation Claims,” October 18, 2013
Speaker: “The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012 and OSC’s Enforcement of Prohibited Personnel Practices,” Federal Administrative Law Judges Conference, September 10, 2013
Panelist: “Ever-Expanding Federal Whistleblower Protections: Increasing Rewards, Growing Risks,” ABA Annual Meeting, August 8, 2013
Panelist: “Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act,” Whistleblower Summit, July 29, 2013
Panelist: “Recent Developments In Whistleblower Protections & Using Them To Your Client’s Advantage,” National Employment Lawyers Association Conference, June 27, 2013.
Panelist: “Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act,” ABA Federal Sector Labor & Employment Law Committee, April 10, 2013
Panelist: “Blowing the Top Off Whistleblower Investigations ,” ABA Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee Midwinter Meeting, March 22, 2013
Panelist: “New Developments at the Office of Special Counsel,” ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice Government Personnel Committee, October 16, 2012
Panelist: “Whistle While You Work: What You Should Know About Representing State and Federal Whistleblowers,” California Employment Lawyers Association Webinar, September 27, 2012
Panelist: “New Robust Retaliation Protections for Whistleblowers,” Taxpayers Against Fraud Conference, September 14, 2012
Witness: Federal Sector Roundtable, “Public Input into the Development of EEOC’s Strategic Enforcement Plan,” July 18, 2012 EEOC Meeting
Panelist: “Ethical Leadership in Government,” Federal Senior Management Conference, April 17, 2012
Panelist: “The Law and Procedures in Representing Federal Employee Whistleblowers,” DC Bar, April 11, 2012
Panelist: “The New Whistleblower Laws,” ABA Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee Midwinter Meeting, March 29, 2012
Panelist: “You Know How to Whistle Don’t You? Whistleblower Law and Practice in Maryland,” Maryland Employment Lawyers Association, November 18, 2011
Panelist: “Ethical Issues in Protecting Confidential Information & Spoliation Prevention,” National Employment Lawyers Association Conference, July 1, 2011
Panelist: “Will Internal Compliance Requirements Strengthen Or Weaken The Law?,” Institutional Investors Educational Foundation and Voices for Corporate Responsibility Program on Considerations For Whistleblowers, April 13, 2011
Panelist: “Whistleblowers: What Protections and Forms of Relief are Available for Foreign-Based Employees,” ABA International Section Spring Program, April 8, 2011
Panelist: “The Whistleblower Litigant’s Dilemma: Making Sure Not to Cross Ethical Lines in the Name of Advocacy,” ABA Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee Midwinter Meeting, March 25, 2011
Moderator: “Using New Developments In Whistleblower Laws To Your Client’s Advantage,” National Employment Lawyers Association Webinar, March 10, 2011
Moderator: “Dodd-Frank Act: Robust Protections and Substantial Rewards for Whistleblowers,” D.C. Bar, November 9, 2010
Panelist: “New Developments in Whistleblower Law and Effective Strategies for Prosecuting Whistleblower Retaliation Claims,” November 3, 2010
Panelist: “New Robust Retaliation Protections for Whistleblowers” Taxpayers Against Fraud Conference, November 1, 2010
Moderator: “Changing Currents in Employment Law 2010: Recent Trends and Developments,” D.C. Bar CLE, October 26, 2010
Panelist: “Employment Law Update: Fall 2010, Whistleblower Provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act,” ALI-ABA Teleseminar, September 21, 2010
Panelist: “Blowing the Whistle as a Federal Employee,” National Employment Lawyers Association Conference, June 25, 2010
Panelist: New Developments in Whistleblower Protection Law, National Whistleblower Assembly, May 24, 2010
Panelist: “Trends in Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Law: Key New Developments,” Law Seminars International, May 21, 2010
Panelist: “Litigating Whistleblower Cases,” Bar Association of Montgomery County, April 14, 2010
Panelist: “Here, There and Everywhere: New and Pending Whistleblower Legislation and Strategies for Handling Expanding Whistleblower Protections,” ABA Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee Midwinter Meeting, March 25, 2010
Panelist: “Winning Retaliation Cases and Defeating Defense Counterclaims and Tricks,” Taxpayers Against Fraud Conference, October 13, 2009
Panelist: “Government Contractors and Other Recipients of Government Funds—Do They Know What They’re Getting Into?” 39th Annual Virginia Bar Association Conference on Labor Relations & Employment Law, October 2, 2009
Moderator: “Litigating Qui Tam Whistleblower Cases under the New Amendments to the False Claims Act,” D.C. Bar CLE, September 14, 2009
Panelist: “Changing Currents in Employment Law,” National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives Annual Conference, July 28, 2009
Panelist: “Changing Currents in Employment Law: Recent Developments Update,” D.C. Bar CLE, June 18, 2009
Panelist: “Settlement Issues in Employment Cases,” ALI-ABA Teleseminar, May 22, 2009
Panelist: “New Whistleblower Protections for Government Contractors and Employees of State and Local Governments,” D.C. Bar, April 6, 2009
Panelist: “New Whistleblower Protection: The McCaskill Amendment to the Economic Stimulus Bill,” ALI-ABA Teleseminar, March 17, 2009
Panelist: “Using OSHA Laws to Remedy Retaliation,” National Whistleblower Assembly, March 8, 2009
Panelist: “Whistleblower Law Symposium,” Institute of Continuing Legal Education in Georgia, March 4, 2009
Panelist: “The Insider: Legal Ethics in Whistleblower Cases” Fairfax Bar CLE, February 5, 2009
Panelist: “Inside the Whistleblower Experience,” Ethics Resource Center, December 8, 2008
Panelist: “Litigating Whistleblower Retaliation Claims Before DOL,” National Whistleblowers Center Seminar on “Whistleblower Protections in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008,” November 21, 2008
Panelist: “Update on Whistleblower Legislation,” Representing Workers in Harassment & Retaliation Claims CLE, National Employment Lawyers Association, October 17- 18, 2008
Panelist: “The Emerging Era in Whistleblower Rights and the Public’s Right to Know,” Sponsored by Government Accountability Project & American University Washington College of Law, June 23, 2008
Panelist: “Litigating Whistleblower Retaliation Cases,” D.C. Bar Labor and Employment Section, May 19, 2008
Panelist: “Corporate Whistleblower Protections,” Joint Congressional Forum: Congress at the Crossroads for Your Rights sponsored by Government Accountability Project and International Association of Whistleblowers, May 12, 2008
Panelist: “Litigating Qui Tam Cases Under the False Claims Act,” D.C. Bar CLE, June 12, 2007
Panelist: “Litigating False Claims Act Retaliation Claims,” Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association, May 17, 2007
Panelist: “Fraud and Corporate Whistleblowing: False Claims Act, Qui Tam, IRS and SOX, The ABC’s of a Successful Whistleblower Case,” National Whistleblower Center, May 16, 2007
Panelist: “Hot SOX: What’s New Under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act,” Representing Workers In Whistleblower & Retaliation Actions CLE, National Employment Lawyers Association, March 12, 2007
Panelist: “Litigating Whistleblower Cases,” Annual Maryland Employment Lawyers Association Training Seminar, September 30, 2006
Panelist: “At-Will Employment,” D.C. Chamber of Commerce Employer Advocate Program Training Seminar, September 6, 2006
Panelist: “Sarbanes-Oxley’s Whistleblower Provisions,” Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association,” May 18, 2006
Panelist: “Conducting Internal Investigations,” D.C. Chamber of Commerce Employer Advocate Program Training Seminar, April 2006
Panelist: “SOX Whistleblower Claims: Key Developments and Emerging Issues,” D.C. Bar Labor and Employment Section, April 16, 2006
Panelist: “ABA Section of Litigation CLE, Sarbanes-Oxley: Update on Recent Court Decisions,” ABA National Live Audio Webcast, April 11, 2006
Panelist: “Employment Law 101,” NCAPA Annual Education Conference, October 2005
Panelist: “Litigating Whistleblower Cases,” Whistleblowers for an Honest, Efficient, and Accountable Government, September 23, 2005
Guest Lecturer, University of Virginia School of Law, “Whistleblower Protections,” April 2005
Panelist: “Employee Concerns Investigations: Navigating the Minefield,” Employee Concerns Program Forum Conference, February 2005
Panelist: “Litigating Whistleblower Cases Before the Department of Labor,” Prettyman-Leventhal American Inns of Court, January 2005
Panelist: “Procedures Governing Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Retaliation Claims,” Bar Association of the District of Columbia Section on Labor and Employment, November 2004
Panelist: “Sarbanes-Oxley’s Whistleblower Protection Provisions,” D.C. Chamber of Commerce Employer Advocate Program, May 2004
DISCLAIMER: INFORMATION ABOUT RESULTS ACHIEVED IN PRIOR CASES DOES NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN FUTURE CASES. RESULTS WILL VARY BASED UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE. REFERENCES TO PRIOR CLIENT ENGAGEMENTS ARE NOT INTENDED TO CONSTITUTE A GUARANTEE, WARRANTY, OR PREDICTION REGARDING THE OUTCOME OF YOUR LEGAL MATTER.The following is a sample of some of Jason Zuckerman’s prior representations, including some matters that he co-counseled with other attorneys:
- Obtained settlement of approximately three and a half million dollars in Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower retaliation case.
- Secured significant ruling from the Department of Labor Administrative Review Board on the causation standard in nuclear whistleblower retaliation actions. Smith v. Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC, ARB No. 11-003, ALJ No. 2009-ERA-007 (June 20, 2012).
- Represented whistleblower in a First Amendment retaliation action whose disclosures about off-label marketing enabled the federal government to recover more than $100 million in a subsequent proceeding and led to the criminal conviction of a senior official for felony conflict-of-interest charges for taking payments from drug companies.
- Represented whistleblower in the first Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower case that survived summary judgment on the issue of extraterritorial application of the Act. Penesso v. LCC Int’l, Inc., 2005-SOX-016 (ALJ March 4, 2005).
- Obtained two settlements in the range of one million to one and half millions dollars in Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower retaliation cases.
- Represented whistleblower at Countrywide Financial who disclosed unlawful practices in the sale of subprime mortgage loans.
- Obtained favorable ruling on the scope of protected conduct under the D.C. Whistleblower Protection Act. Saint–Jean v. Dist. of Columbia, 846 F. Supp. 2d 247 (D.D.C. 2012).
- Secured favorable ruling in a Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower retaliation case holding that the duty speech doctrine does not apply to SOX claims, protected conduct under SOX is limited to disclosures about shareholder fraud, and individual liability does not require a showing of malice. Leznik v. Nektar Therapeutics, 2006-SOX-93 (ALJ Nov. 16, 2007).
- Obtained favorable ruling in Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower case clarifying that a company’s submission to the Securities and Exchange Commission of a report of an internal investigation of accounting practices waives the attorney-client and work product privileges. Fernandez v. Navistar International Corp., 2009-SOX-43 (ALJ Oct. 16, 2009).
- Obtained reinstatement for a security guard at a nuclear plant who disclosed lax security practices.
- In conjunction with other counsel, represented qui tam relator in a False Claims Act case that settled for approximately $58 million dollars.
- Represented whistleblower in Congressional investigation of mismanagement and abuse of authority at an Office of Inspector General.
- Drafted amicus curiae briefs in Powers v. Union Pacific Railroad (defining “contributing factor” causation), Johnson v Siemens (construing scope of coverage under Section 806 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act), Bonds v. Levitt (interpreting scope of protected conduct under the Whistleblower Protection Act), Welch v. Chao (construing scope of protected conduct under Section 806 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act), and Tucker v. DC (same-decision defense under the DC Whistleblower Protection Act).
- Obtained favorable settlement in wrongful discharge claim arising from whistleblower disclosures of cross-contamination of pharamaceuticals in violation of FDA good manufacturing practices.
- Represented whistleblower in Nuclear Regulatory Commission investigation resulting in issuance of Notice of Violation.
- Represented whistleblower before the SEC concerning disclosures of internal control deficiencies.
- Represented whistleblowers in Office of Inspector General investigation of contractor fraud.
- Obtained full relief for truck driver who refused to drive an unsafe truck.
- Represented whistleblower in Congressional investigation of retaliation.
- Represented whistleblowers at Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo.