Call (404) 550-4615 for a Whistleblower Lawyer in GA
If you are trying to warn shareholders about fraud against a publicly-traded company, your job may be protected under Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX).
SOX whistleblower attorney Lee Wallace has been practicing law for more than 25 years, handling legal matters in more than 20 states during that time. Ms. Wallace’s peers have voted her one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Georgia, and have selected her as a Georgia Super Lawyers® every year since the polling first started.
Contact us to learn more about your rights as a SOX whistleblower.
What Protections Do I Have Under SOX?
Federal law protects employees who blow the whistle on financial fraud by publicly-traded companies that are defrauding their shareholders or violating the rules of the Securities & Exchange Commission – the SEC. Under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), it is illegal to “discharge, demote, suspend, threaten, harass, or in any other manner discriminate against” an employee because he or she reported corporate fraud. 18 U.S.C. § 1514A(a). The SOX law acknowledges that as a nation we have an interest in preventing fraud against an enormous group of shareholders.
What Conduct Is Protected By SOX?
SOX is quite limited, however. Employees are only protected when they provide information about “conduct which the employee reasonably believes constitutes a violation” of federal statutes or SEC regulations governing publicly-traded corporations. 18 U.S.C. 1514A (a)(1).
Furthermore, employees are only protected when they provide information about corporate fraud to:
- A Federal regulatory or law enforcement agency;
- Any Member of Congress or any committee of Congress; or
- A person with supervisory authority over the employee (or such other person working for the employer who has the authority to investigate, discover, or terminate misconduct)”, or when they file, testify, participate in or otherwise assist in proceedings that have been filed or are about to be filed “with any knowledge of the employer.”
SOX whistleblower complaints also may be filed with OSHA, the Occupational and Safety Health Administration.
Notably, Sarbanes-Oxley does not cover employee statements to the media or news reporters.
Employees Have a Very Short Time to Act
The law provides an absurdly short time for employees to act. The statute of limitations is only 90 days from the time the violation occurred. 18 U.S.C. 1514A (B)(2)(D).
What Damages Can I Get?
Under the Act, an employee who wins the suit is entitled to be made whole. He can be reinstated to his job, get back pay with interest, and receive any special damages such as litigation costs, expert witness fees, and attorneys’ fees.
You May Still Have Claims Under State Law
Do you have questions or concerns about your protections under SOX? Call us today at (404) 550-4615.