The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday charged technology and engineering firm KBR Inc. with breaking a whistleblower-protection rule enacted by the Dodd-Frank Act. The agency said KBR required witnesses in certain investigations interviews to sign confidentiality statements warning they could face discipline if they discussed the matters with outside parties without prior approval from KBR's legal department. KBR, a former Halliburton Co. unit, did not admit or deny the charges but agreed to cease and desist from future violations of the rule. The SEC said this was its first enforcement action against a company for using "improperly restrictive language" in agreements with potential to stifle whistleblowing. KBR was formerly known as Kellogg Brown & Root.
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