Does the Sarbanes-Oxley Act Protect Internal Complaints?
The Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act was designed with a number of key goals in mind, which includes the requirement that corporations develop and maintain internal reporting programs, and to protect whistleblowers from being retaliated against by their employers.
As such, the SOX Act does protect whistleblowers who report internally from retaliation by their employers should they discover that you were the one to blow the whistle. Continue reading to learn more about why reporting internally is important, and what will happen if your employer retaliates against you.
Why Report Internally?
Internal reporting is a way for employees who discover securities violations to report their information within the company prior to going to the SEC. The idea is that the corporation has an opportunity to address the issue and report to the SEC themselves.
This way, the company, as a whole, won’t necessarily be under scrutiny by the SEC, Additionally, other employees might not be impacted by the fraudulent activity of one rogue employee.
However, internal reporting can come with its own risks, particularly if the higher-ups in the company are the ones committing fraud. They might take your complaint and order you to leave it alone from there. They might even retaliate against you if you continue looking into what you’ve discovered.
For this reason, we recommend getting help from a highly trained attorney before you report your tip to your company’s internal compliance program. After that, we can represent you when you report your tip to the SEC.
What Happens If Your Employer Retaliates Against You
Should your employer violate the SOX Act by retaliating against you, there are steps you can take to hold them accountable. First, your attorney can file a civil claim against them, which will allow you to be reinstated to your former position, be awarded double back pay, and recover any other damages that apply to your case.
Additionally, the SEC can take action against them by freezing their accounts and imposing sanctions that will make your employer pay for engaging in retaliatory action against an employee who blew the whistle.
Get in Touch with an SEC Whistleblower Lawyer
If you’ve become aware of securities violations, or if you are being retaliated against for reporting your tip internally, get in touch with a regarded SEC whistleblower lawyer at Meissner Associates today. You can schedule a confidential tip review when you complete the secure contact form below or give our office a call at 1-866-764-3100.