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Synopsis: Stephen Kohn, Founding Partner at Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto, interviews OSHA expert, Emily Spieler, about OSHA whistleblower protections and whistleblowers in the age of COVID-19.
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Stephen Kohn, Founding Partner, Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto, LLP
Stephen M. Kohn is widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading qui tam and whistleblower attorneys. He won the largest ever individual whistleblower reward/qui tam payment for UBS whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld ($104 million reward for Mr. Birkenfeld). His record of winning whistleblower cases dates back to 1984, and he was peer-review rated by the National Law Journal as one of the 50-top plaintiff’s lawyers in the United States, the only whistleblower rights lawyer to achieve this distinction. His successful advocacy has resulted in landmark precedents in whistleblower and qui tam law.
Kohn helped draft key whistleblower legislation and regulatory rules, including those incorporated into the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Dodd-Frank Act, the IRS Qui Tam whistleblower amendments, and Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act. He is the author of the first legal treatise on whistleblowing and is the world’s most published author on whistleblower protection. His most recent book is The New Whistleblower’s Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Doing What’s Right and Protecting Yourself. In 1988 he helped found the National Whistleblower Center, where is currently serves, pro bono, as Chairman of the Board. Steve Kohn also teaches an annual seminar on Whistleblower Law at the Northeastern University School of Law.
Emily Spieler, Professor and Former Dean at Northeastern University School of Law
Professor Spieler, an expert in labor and employment law, is the Edwin W. Hadley Professor of Law at Northeastern University School of Law. From 2002 until 2012, she served as dean of the School of Law.
Professor Spieler served as chair of the Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee, a federal advisory committee to the Secretary of Labor, from 2012, when it was first established, until 2018, when the charter for the committee was not renewed. During the winter of 2008-2009, she was a member of President Obama’s transition team for the Department of Labor. She has also served on a wide variety of committees relating to workplace safety and health and compensation for occupational injuries, including as chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Institute for Work and Health in Toronto, Ontario, Canada; on the National Academy of Social Insurance Steering Committee on Workers’ Compensation; on the National Academies Committee on Health and Safety Needs of Older Workers; and as chair of the US Department of Energy Worker Advocacy Advisory Committee regarding implementation of the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000. Professor Spieler is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, the Pound Institute for Civil Justice, the Collegium Ramazzini and the American College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers. Prior to joining the Northeastern faculty as dean of the school, she practiced law in both Massachusetts and West Virginia, held several senior positions in West Virginia state government and was a member of the faculty at the West Virginia University College of Law.