What You Need to Know About Whistleblowing and the SOX Act
If you noticed something illegal, illicit or un-allowed at your place of work and you want to report it, you’re probably considering one thing, and this is whistleblower protection. Fortunately, whistleblowers in Texas are duly protected by federal laws against retaliation and more. This includes the Whistleblower Protection Act and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act is well-known as one of the most essential laws protecting whistleblowers from wrongful termination and retaliation because of its diverse provisions for different administrative, civil and criminal cases.
If you’ve decided to step up and become a whistleblower, you need to understand the SOX Act and how it can protect you.
What is the SOX Act?
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act was enacted in 2002 by Congress, to encourage trust after the Enron Corporation collapsed. The whistleblower protection under the SOX acts allows employees to give information that can harm the company’s customers or investors, especially in cases of fraud, without fear. It does not only protect them from wrongful termination but includes a wholesome protection network.
The SOX Act implemented new and enhanced rules for the boards of public companies and public accounting or management companies. Every public company is required by the act to have a business ethics code and an internal process that allows employees to submit reports on violations, either fraud or ethical problems.
These reports will be taken, investigated and acted upon. This law allows for corporate liability and individual liability. It also offers protection for whistleblowers that disclose information which they believe is a violation of any law against shareholders.
Different companies are covered under the SOX Act. It includes all public companies and non-public companies if they have debt securities that are publicly traded. Some parts of the law also cover companies that are professionally involved with publicly traded companies, even if they aren’t a publicly-traded company. Even the subsidiaries of publicly-traded companies can be held accountable under this law.
Fortunately, there is a connection between the retaliation and the SOX Act. This is stated under Section 806 of the law that states that the employees who suffer retaliation because of whistleblowing have a civil cause of action. They can send their written complaint within 180 days of the retaliation act to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration office close to them.
The word employee under the SOX Act covers the present and former employees as well as independent contractors. If the activity happened while you were employed, even if you are no longer working there, you will still be protected against retaliation. This is the same case for independent contractors.
Contact Scott Law Firm for Legal Assistance
If you’re dealing with retaliation after whistleblowing or you’re afraid of retaliation which is why you’re finding it hard to speak up, it’s always best to seek legal assistance. Lawyers that are experienced in these cases know what to do and how best to protect you from the wrath of your employer.
You can contact any of our skilled and experienced lawyers at Scott Law Firm for assistance. Having a lawyer gives you an edge over your employer.