Companies Made Deals That Could Run Afoul of U.S. Whistleblower Rules

Wells Fargo, Advanced Micro Devices and Fifth Third Bank have in recent years agreed to settlement deals that seek to muzzle former employees in ways that some lawyers said could violate U.S. whistleblower protection laws. Five lawyers, including three who represent whistleblowers, said that the settlements appear aimed at blocking workers from airing their concerns and contain similarities to those used by other companies that ran afoul of government rules. The deals by Wells Fargo, AMD, and Fifth Third Bank were among a dozen such corporate settlements reached between 2012 and 2015 that were reviewed by Reuters. The companies each struck deals with departing workers that limit the employees’ ability to receive money arising from any government investigations into their former employers.

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