An interesting NY Times article in the Business Section on December 18, 2016 reported that a study of Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) and Dodd Frank whistle-blowers found that exposing coporate wrong-doing actually changed corporate conduct for the better.
In fact, the burden of proof for whistle-blowers who claim retaliation under SOX are very pro-whistleblower. All a whistle-blower has to prove under SOX is that he/she is an employee who reasaonbly believed that the employer was violating federal securities laws and that the employer retaliated against the whistleblower for either objecting to or reporting the wrongdoing to a supervisor, the company's outside independent auditor or to the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). However, if a whistle-blower wishes to assert a retaliation claim under SOX, such a claim must be filed within 180 days of notice of the retaliatory action with OSHA. A successful whistleblower retaliation claim can yield lost earnings, reimbursement of reasonable attorney's fees and emotional distress damages. A whistleblower can also file directly with the SEC for an award if the SEC determines that the amount of money owed by the publicly traded company is over $1million.
The process by which a whistle-blower retaliation claim can be brought under SOX and the Dodd Frank law can be complicated. If you believe that you may have such a claim, call (973) 695-7777 or contact our New Jersey employment law firm online for an initial evaluation of your case.