On March 6, 2015, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration published a final rule finalizing procedures for handling whistleblower retaliation complaints filed under Section 806 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX).
Sox Act contains significant protections for corporate whistleblowers. It covers employees who report fraudulent activities and violations of Securities Exchange Commission rules that can harm investors in publicly traded companies. Given its diverse civil, criminal and administrative provisions, the statute may be considered, over time, one of the most important whistleblower protection laws.
“Silencing workers who try to do the right thing is unacceptable,” said Assistant Secretary of Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “This final rule safeguards investors by protecting whistleblowers who shine a light on illegal or fraudulent conduct that otherwise may go uncorrected.”
SOX prohibits publicly-traded companies, nationally recognized statistical ratings organizations, and other covered persons from retaliating against an employee who provides information about conduct that the employee reasonably believes violates federal mail, wire, bank or securities fraud statutes, SEC rules, or any provision of federal law relating to fraud against shareholders.