What’s Included in a Whistleblower Retaliation Settlement?
The threat of retaliation is one of the primary worries of potential whistleblowers. Retaliation can take many forms and is a very real threat to one’s job, reputation, and future.
Fortunately, SEC whistleblowers are legally protected from retaliation under both the Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank Acts. In the event that you blow the whistle and the target of the SEC investigation retaliates against you, you have the right to take them to court seeking damages.
Detailed below are some of the damages that can be included in a whistleblower retaliation settlement.
Reinstatement to Your Previous Position
When a whistleblower reports fraud committed by his or her employer, the employer is legally prohibited from demoting, terminating, or suspending the whistleblower.
As part of a retaliation settlement, the court can order that the employer reinstate you to your previous position at the same rate of pay.
The employer is also prohibited from threatening, harassing, or outing you in an attempt to force you into resigning or quitting.
Whistleblowers are also entitled to double back-pay when an employer retaliates through termination, demotion, or suspension.
This means that from the moment your employer took an adverse employment action that resulted in decreased income, the court could award you double your lost wages or salary up to the point that you’re reinstated.
Lost Future Earnings
Not all whistleblowers report their employers, however, and these individuals often worry that retaliation will take the form of defamation and industry blacklisting.
If you’re retaliated against in this way, your settlement could include the cost of lost future earnings resulting from this damage to your professional reputation.
As mentioned, the target of the SEC investigation is also forbidden from threatening, harassing, or outing you as a whistleblower. If this form of retaliation occurs, you could suffer mentally and emotionally.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act allows you to recover non-economic damages that represent your emotional anguish and lost quality of life caused by the retaliation.
Cost of Litigation and Attorney Fees
It’s a simple fact that retaliation will cost money to litigate and win the settlement you’re owed. You shouldn’t have to pay for these costs.
A retaliation settlement should also cover the cost of this litigation, as well as any reasonable attorney fees incurred because of it.
We Protect Our Clients from Retaliation
At Meissner Associates, we look out for our whistleblower clients when it comes to the possibility of retaliation.
While it’s unlikely to be necessary, as part of our retention agreement, we agree to defend our clients against any actions filed against them in New York State if those actions arise from and relate to the whistleblower tip submitted to the SEC and are filed by the target of the SEC investigation that was prompted by the tip.
Find out how we can help you earn a whistleblower award by signing up for a free, confidential tip evaluation. Just complete the form below or call us at 1-866-764-3100.