Practice Areas > Whistleblower Claims
Not all whistleblowing activity is protected. Generally, to be protected, an employee must be able to point a law that protects their disclosure. For example, before Congress enacted the Sarbanes-Oxley Act on July 30, 2002, an employee of a public company who claimed retaliation for exposing fraudulent activity may not have a legal claim. Employee seeking to disclose a practice believed to be unethical or illegal should seek legal counsel before going public.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act protects employees in publicly traded companies and their contractors, subcontractors or agents from retaliation for providing information that an employee believes is a violation of a Securities and Exchange Commission rule or other federal law relating to fraud against shareholders.

A person filing a complaint of discrimination or retaliation must show that he or she engaged in protected activity, the employer knew about that activity, the employer subjected him or her to an adverse employment action, and the protected activity contributed to the adverse action. Adverse employment action is generally defined as a material change in the terms or conditions of employment. Depending upon the circumstances of the case, "discrimination" can include:
  • Firing or laying off

  • Blacklisting

  • Demoting

  • Denying overtime or promotion

  • Disciplining

  • Denial of benefits

  • Failure to hire or rehire

  • Intimidation

  • Reassignment affecting prospects for promotion

  • Reducing pay or hours
The Rubin Employment Law Firm, PC - 11 North Washington Street, Suite 520 - Rockville, Maryland 20850 - (301) 760-7914
These materials have been prepared by The Rubin Employment Law Firm, P.C. for information purposes only and are not legal advice. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between the sender and receiver. Internet subscribers and online readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.
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