Whistleblowers in various industries — including the financial sector — have significant protections under federal law. If you have reason to believe your company has been engaging in financial fraud, securities law violations, or other misconduct, your employer is not permitted to retaliate against you for reporting the illegal activity. In the event you have suffered an adverse employment action because you blew the whistle on your employer, it’s critical to have a skillful attorney by your side to protect your rights.
Our attorneys handle cases involving the federal laws that protect financial whistleblowers, including the Sarbanes Oxley Act, the Dodd-Frank Act, and the False Claims Act. We are committed to fighting on behalf of our clients to ensure they obtain the compensation they deserve.
In 2002, Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, a statute that protects whistleblowers who report violations of securities laws and certain types of criminal conduct. Employers are prohibited under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act from terminating employment, discharging, demoting, threatening, or harassing a whistleblower. Depending on the facts and circumstances of your specific case, you may be entitled to certain types of relief under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act if you were retaliated against for reporting a violation.
Whistleblower relief for retaliation under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act can include the following:
Whether you are an executive, manager, professional, or hourly employee, blowing the whistle can make you feel isolated and at-risk. The whistleblower attorneys at Stember Cohn & Davidson-Welling can help you assert your rights and protect your career and reputation. We can also assist you with recovering compensation for any losses or injuries that you have suffered.
In July 2010, President Obama signed into law the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”). The Act reorganized the financial regulatory system and created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Dodd-Frank amended the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in several respects, significantly increasing the protections available to whistleblowers in the financial services industry.
The objective of this federal law is to improve accountability and transparency in the financial system — as well as protect consumers and taxpayers. The Dodd-Frank Act applies to both public and privately held companies. Importantly, the Act also protects employees who report truthful information related to federal crimes.
Pursuant to Dodd-Frank, an employer cannot retaliate against an employee for disclosing any information that is protected or required under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 — in addition to any other law, rule, or regulation subject to the jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Under the Dodd-Frank Act, a whistleblower files a complaint with the applicable regulatory agency, rather than a claim with the court. While a whistleblower is entitled to anonymity if they are represented by counsel, their identity will be made public if a federal agency decides to move forward with a lawsuit based on their complaint. There is no private right of action for the whistleblower to sue on the government’s behalf if the federal agency determines it will not pursue the case.
An employee who prevails under the Dodd-Frank Act may receive up to twice the amount of wages lost due to retaliation, as well as attorneys’ fees. Dodd-Frank also includes a provision that allows a whistleblower to receive a cash award between 10% and 30% of amounts that the Securities and Exchange Commission recovers based on the whistleblower’s report.
Whether you have reported an employer’s fraudulent activity and have been retaliated against — or suspect your company is violating the Sarbanes-Oxley Act — it’s crucial to contact a whistleblower attorney who can protect your interests. Located in Pittsburgh, Stember Cohn & Davidson-Welling LLC handles a wide variety of whistleblower matters for clients throughout Western Pennsylvania. For more information about how our attorneys can assist you, call (412) 338-1445 or email us to schedule a no-fee, initial conversation.