Testing the Waters of Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Claims

February 3, 2007

J. Gregory Grisham, James H. Stock, Jr.

It has been nearly five years since Congress, in the aftermath of several corporate scandals, including Enron and WorldCom, passed the Corporate and Criminal Fraud Accountability Act of 2002, better known as the  Sarbanes- Oxley Act” or “SOX” for short. Among the many civil and criminal provisions of SOX is a whistleblower provision, Section 806(a), codifi ed at 18 U.S.C. §1514A, that seeks to protect employees from retaliatory employment actions in certain specifi ed circumstances. Questions remain whether Section 1514A provides sufficient protection for corporate whistleblowers who attempt to fall within its coverage and whether it is fair to corporate employers charged with retaliation under the Act. This article will examine Section 1514A, the regulations relating thereto that have been promulgated by the United States Department of Labor (DOL), and the experience of litigants in Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) investigations and whistleblower actions before administrative law judges (ALJs) and the federal courts....

Testing the Waters of Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Claims