LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Jason M. Zuckerman | Oct 8, 2017

Does the Sarbanes-Oxley Act protect whistleblowing in the course of performing one's job duties?

Does the Sarbanes-Oxley Act protect whistleblowing in the course of performing one's job duties? Yes. A corporate whistleblower is protected under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act when they blow the whistle in the course of performing their ordinary job responsibilities. In almost all of the Sarbanes-Oxley cases I handle, I often hear the employer argue, "Well, your client didn't blow the whistle. They just performed their ordinary job responsibility." I have been able to persuade many ALJs at the Department of Labor and some courts that there is no loophole in SOX for employees who blow the whistle as part of their ordinary job responsibilities. It's important to recall why we have the anti-retaliation provision of SOX. It was enacted in the wake of Enron, where individuals who performed work for Enron as auditors inside Enron or even at outside firms, people either were willing to look the other way, or, when they blew the whistle, there was an act of reprisal. The point of Sarbanes-Oxley is to ensure that auditors and accountants are able to blow the whistle without fear of reprisal.

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