(press release: cdklawyers)
In response to corporate scandals, the United States government enacted the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“SOX”). SOX establishes new standards for all public companies, their boards, their management, and public accounting firms. SOX also protects certain whistleblowers from retaliation. This protection applies to an employee who works for a public company and who alleges that he was retaliated against for reporting any conduct that the employee reasonably believes violates federal laws relating to fraud against shareholders.
Under SOX, a public company may not discharge, demote, suspend, threaten, harass or otherwise discriminate against an employee in the terms and conditions of employment because the employee provided information to or assisted in an investigation conducted by a law enforcement agency, a member of Congress, a person with supervisory authority over the employee or who has the authority to investigate perceived misconduct. Likewise, an employer cannot retaliate against an employee who files or assists in a proceeding related to an alleged violation of federal anti-fraud laws.
An employee who alleges termination or other discrimination in violation of this statute may file a complaint with the Secretary of Labor. If the employee prevails, the employee may be entitled to reinstatement, back pay, and compensation for any special damages.
A public employer accused of retaliating against a whistleblower should contact legal counsel. To speak with an employment law attorney about corporate whistleblowing, please contact the employment lawyers at firstname.lastname@example.org.