Employees are protected under Section 510 of ERISA from discharge, discipline, or other discrimination based on the employee's testimony or participation in any "inquiry or proceeding" related to compliance or enforcement of ERISA obligations. A recent Federal Court of Appeals decision involved complaints made by a director of human resources about her employer's administration of the company’s medical plan and the employee's claim that she was improperly discharged as a result of these complaints. The case did not involve a formal DOL inquiry, audit, or other formal proceeding of any sort. The director of human resources claimed that her objections about how employees were enrolled in a discriminatory manner in a medical plan and that management had falsified employee data led to her discharge. The discharged employee filed a lawsuit in which she claimed the benefit of the ERISA "whistleblower" provision protecting against a discharge that is based on a proceeding under ERISA. In a decision that is consistent with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals (covering New York), the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the whistleblower protection does not apply unless there is a formal proceeding in which the employee participates. The decision was reached despite support for the employee's position by the Secretary of Labor filed in a "friend of the court" brief. (Edwards v. A.H. Cornell and Son Inc., 3d Cir. 2010)