Image of Jury Awards Six Million Dollars to Whistleblower in Sarbanes-Oxley Case

Jury Awards Six Million Dollars to Whistleblower in Sarbanes-Oxley Case


A jury awarded six million dollars to Catherine Zulfer, a former accounting executive who alleged that her employment was terminated in retaliation for disclosing to her former employer’s Chief Financial Officer and Chief Compliance Officer concerns about accruing discretionary executive bonuses without Board approval.  The jury also ruled in Zulfer’s favor on her count of wrongful discharge in violation of California public policy and has not yet awarded punitive damages.  David DeRubertis represented Ms. Zulfer.

One of the forms of protected conduct under the Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower protection law is the disclosure of a potential violation of “any rule or regulation of the Securities and Exchange Commission.”   Zulfer alleged that the bonus accrual to which she objected could violate SEC rules prohibiting the circumvention of internal accounting controls.

This case highlights the importance of the kick-out provision in Section 806 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act that authorizes whistleblowers to remove their claims to federal court after exhausting administrative remedies at the Department of Labor.  SOX does not authorize punitive damages, but a SOX whistleblower can add a claim in federal court for which punitive damages are available and try both claims before a jury.

Guide to the SOX Whistleblower Protection Law

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SOX whistleblower protection

In addition to SOX, other federal and state whistleblower protection laws provide remedies to combat retaliation.  Contact us today to learn about your options to maximize your recovery in a retaliation case and to find out if you may qualify for an SEC whistleblower award.

What Damages Can a SOX Whistleblower Recover?

What is Actionable Whistleblower Retaliation Under the SOX Whistleblower Protection Law?

SOX Whistleblower Retaliation Lawyers

Leading whistleblower firm Zuckerman Law represents whistleblowers nationwide.  If you are seeking representation in a whistleblower retaliation or whistleblower protection case, click here, or call our whistleblower retaliation lawyers at 202-262-8959 to schedule a confidential consultation.

In 2019, the National Law Review awarded Jason Zuckerman its “Go-To Thought Leadership Award” for his analysis of developments in whistleblower law. We represent whistleblowers nationwide.

The SOX whistleblower lawyers at Zuckerman Law have substantial experience litigating Sarbanes Oxley whistleblower retaliation claims and have achieved substantial recoveries for officers, executives, accountants, auditors, and other senior professionals.

Click here to read reviews of our whistleblower retaliation lawyers from clients that we have represented in whistleblower rewards and whistleblower retaliation matters and see our tips to combat whistleblower retaliation.

Jason Zuckerman, Principal of Zuckerman Law, litigates whistleblower retaliation, qui tam, wrongful discharge, and other employment-related claims. He is rated 10 out of 10 by Avvo, was recognized by Washingtonian magazine as a “Top Whistleblower Lawyer” in 2015 and selected by his peers to be included in The Best Lawyers in America® and in SuperLawyers.