Whistleblower Claims

It can be difficult to report an employer who is engaging in illegal or improper conduct. You may fear retaliation or blacklisting within your industry, and those fears may be well-justified. However, you should also be aware that there are numerous federal and Texas statutes that protect you against retaliation by your employer for reporting illegal or improper conduct. Some of the protections available to you are the following:

The Sarbanes-Oxley (“SOX”) And Dodd Frank Acts

Employees of publicly traded companies or companies that are subject to certain Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reporting requirements are protected against retaliation for reporting violations of Federal law relating to fraud against shareholders; alleged wire, mail, bank or securities fraud; violations of SEC rules and regulations; or violation(s) of Federal law relating to fraud against shareholders.

Thus, if your employer is covered by SOX, it may not retaliate against you for reporting fraud that potentially implicates any of those areas (mail, wire, bank, securities), whether that report was to an outside agency conducting an investigation or audit, or if it was to someone within your company, such as a supervisor, manager or member of the accounting staff.

The following actions may be considered retaliatory if taken because an employee has engaged in protected conduct under SOX:

  • Termination

  • Blacklisting

  • Refusing overtime pay

  • Denial of promotion

  • Employee discipline

  • Denial of employment benefits

  • Refusing to hire or rehire

  • Intimidation

  • Threats

  • Reassignment that affects promotion prospects

  • Reduction in job duties, compensation or work hours

If you have been subjected to a violation of the Sarbanes Oxley Act or some other act of retaliation, you may be entitled to recover lost wages with interest, compensation for special damages, attorney fees, expert witness fees and litigation costs.

The Dodd-Frank Act expanded the protections of the Sarbanes Oxley Act in several areas. To learn more about the Dodd-Frank Act, please click this link: Sections 922 and 929A of the Dodd Frank Act (DFA)

The time frames for filing a claim of retaliation under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act are short. If you believe that you have been terminated or otherwise retaliated against for engaging in an activity protected by the Sarbanes Oxley Act or otherwise, contact an employment lawyer immediately.

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