December 20, 2016

A technology company has agreed to pay a penalty of $180,000 related to charges that involve impeding its former employees from providing information to the SEC.

Neustar Inc. allegedly violated a whistleblower protection rule by including a broad non-disparagement clause in its severance agreements that forbids former employees from communicating information to the regulator that “disparages, denigrates, maligns or impugns” the company, according to an SEC release.

The company did not admit or deny the findings related to the SEC’s investigation, and voluntarily revised its severance agreements after the inquiry began.

Neustar also took the step of informing the former employees who signed the agreements that they do not prohibit them from communicating any potential violations of regulations to the SEC.