If you have wondered if Whistleblower Protection is available to you while working within a private company, the answer is yes.
Private-company employees who allege they are retaliated against for reporting certain kinds of suspected wrongdoing can potentially bring valid claims against their employer.
In the wake of the ruling by the Supreme Court earlier in 2014, “your company’s exposure to a [Sarbanes-Oxley] whistleblower claim is no longer governed by whether you’re a public company or not,” said Lloyd Chinn, partner and co-head of the Whistleblowing and Retaliation Group at Proskauer Rose LLP. “Any private employer who happens to be a contractor of a public company is subject to a suit.”
The court’s opinion cited Sarbanes-Oxley’s intent to “stave off another Enron debacle” and empower contractors to report fraud.
Additionally in 2002, Congress passed the historic Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which protects employees of publicly traded companies who report violations of Securities and Exchange Commission regulations or any provision of federal law relating to fraud against the shareholders.
What types of retaliatory actions by employers can lead to successful whistleblower demotingactions?
In a nutshell, adverse changes to the whistleblower’s terms and conditions of employment are prohibited. These adverse changes include a wide range of actions from reprimands to termination and blacklisting.
- Firing or laying off
- Denying overtime or promotion
- Denial of benefits
- Failure to hire or rehire
- Making threats
- Reassignment affecting prospects for promotion
- Reducing pay or hours
What remedies are available to employees under the Sarbanes Oxley whistleblower law?
Employees who prevail are entitled to:
- Back pay with interest
- Complete “make-whole” compensation (including restoration of seniority/sick leave, etc)
- “Special Damages” (for emotional distress and loss of professional reputation)*
- Attorneys’ fees and costs
- “Affirmative Relief” (such as requiring a letter of apology and formal posting of the decision)
The Parrish Law Firm Whistleblower Attorney works with northern Virginia citizens who have suffered from compromised working conditions and are looking for fair compensation for their suffering. Contact us today for a free case consultation, or call us at 703-906-4229.
A representative of the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC researched and wrote this article with Mr. Parrish’s consent. If you have any questions regarding the legal implications of what you have just read, please send us your question by clicking here so we can have our attorney review it.