Whistleblower Claims Attorney
The lawyers at Terry, Simon & Kelly know that 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 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; violationsof 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 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:
- Refusing overtime pay
- Denial of promotion
- Employee discipline
- Denial of employment benefits
- Refusing to hire or rehire
- 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, 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 activity protected by the Sarbanes Oxley Act, the employment lawyers at Terry, Simon & Kelly may be able to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
Other Federal Whistleblower Statutes
There are twenty-one federal whistleblower statutes, covering everything from safe drinking water reporting to airline safety Each covers retaliation for a different, and fairly specific, kind of whistleblowing.. Rather than detail each one here, we have listed them below, with links to each statute. Click on any statute to see the whistleblower provisions.
If you believe your employer has retaliated against you because you engaged in protected activity under any of these statutes, including exercising your safety and health rights, contact us right away to schedule a consultation. Most of the statutes listed above have only a thirty-day window in which to file a complaint, so you should not delay in discussing the matter with an experienced employment attorney.
Retaliation for Refusal to Perform an Illegal Act
Under Texas law, your employer may not terminate your employment because you have refused to perform an act that could subject you to a criminal penalty. Examples of such protected activity includes refusals by truck drivers to exceed the number of hours permitted by the U.S.DOT, refusals by workers to violate certain environmental laws, or refusals to falsify records or sign false affidavits.. If you have been terminated for refusing to perform an illegal act, you may entitled to an award of lost wages, compensatory damages, and punitive damages, and reinstatement into your former position may be an option as well. To discuss a potential claim that you were terminated for refusing to perform an illegal act, please do not hesitate to contact our office.