Does SOX prohibit post-termination retaliation?
The ARB and some district judges have held that SOX prohibits post-employment retaliation. For example, in Kshetrapal v. Dish Network, LLC,[i] Mr. Kshetrapal, an associate director for Dish Network (“Dish”), disclosed that a marketing agency with which Dish had contracted was submitting fraudulent bills. When Mr. Kshetrapal disclosed the fraud, his supervisors initially ignored him. Mr. Kshetrapal continued to press the issue, and Dish conducted an investigation, which resulted in Dish firing Mr. Kshetrapal’s supervisor and terminating its contract with the marketing agency. One month after taking these corrective actions, Dish forced Mr. Kshetrapal to resign.
The marketing agency sued Dish for breach of contract, and Mr. Kshetrapal was deposed in that litigation. During his deposition, Mr. Kshetrapal testified about the marketing agency’s fraud and his belief that his supervisor received bribes from the marketing agency. Shortly after the deposition, Mr. Kshetrapal began working for a music streaming service on which Dish ran ads. Upon learning that Mr. Kshetrapal worked for the music streaming service, Dish pulled its ads. Soon thereafter, a prospective employer of Mr. Kshetrapal rescinded a job offer because Dish ordered it not to hire Mr. Kshetrapal.
Mr. Kshetrapal sued Dish for retaliation, and in denying Dish’s motion to dismiss, Judge Crotty held that Mr. Kshetrapal’s deposition testimony about the alleged fraud was protected under SOX even though the deposition took place when he no longer worked for Dish. According to Judge Crotty, “a contrary holding would discourage employees from exposing fraudulent activities of their former employers for fear of retaliation in the form of blacklisting or interference with subsequent employment. Such a result would contravene the purpose of SOX.”[ii] Some courts, however, have held that SOX does not proscribe post-termination retaliation.[iii]
[i] 90 F. Supp. 3d 108, 112–14 (S.D.N.Y. 2015).
[ii] Id. at 114.
[iii] See, e.g., Hughart v. Raymond James & Assocs., Inc., 2004 DOLSOX LEXIS 92, at* 129 (ALJ Dec. 17, 2004)
SOX Whistleblower Protection Law
We represent corporate whistleblowers nationwide in high-stakes whistleblower retaliation cases and have obtained substantial recoveries for CEOs, CFOs, auditors, accountants, risk managers, CISOs, and other executives and senior professionals. We have recovered more than $15 million for corporate whistleblowers and have obtained settlements in excess of one million dollars in at least five SOX matters. Click here to read reviews from senior executives and professionals that we represented in whistleblower retaliation matters.
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Why Hire Leading Whistleblower Law Firm Zuckerman Law
- Our team includes a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner and former KPMG external auditor. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Matt Stock developed an expertise in financial statement analysis, internal controls testing and fraud recognition. He uses his auditing experience to help IRS, CFTC and SEC whistleblowers investigate and disclose complex financial frauds to the government.
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- Jason Zuckerman was recognized by Washingtonian magazine as a “Top Whistleblower Lawyer” in 2015, 2009, and 2007 selected by his peers to be included in The Best Lawyers in America® in the category of employment law (2011-2017), and selected by his peers to be listed in SuperLawyers (2012 and 2015-2017) in the category of labor and employment law. is rated 10 out of 10 by Avvo, based largely on client reviews, and rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell based on peer reviews.
- Eric Bachman has substantial experience litigating precedent-setting employment cases. His wins include a $100 million settlement in a disparate impact Title VII class action and a $16 million class action settlement against a major grocery chain. Having served as Special Litigation Counsel in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and as lead or co-counsel in numerous jury trials, Bachman is trial-tested and ready to fight for you to obtain the relief that you deserve.
- The firm has published extensively on whistleblower rights and protections, and regularly speaks nationwide at seminars and continuing legal education conferences. We blog about new developments in whistleblower law at the Whistleblower Protection Blog.
Client Reviews from Executives and Senior Professionals in SOX Whistleblower Retaliation Matters
- “Jason is the consummate professional when it comes to SOX retaliation claims. He is, without question, one of the most deeply knowledgeable, technical, and astute attorneys in this very specialized body of law. During one of the most difficult times in my professional career, Jason not only provided exceptional legal guidance, but equally as important, he provided emotional support that was vital to my family and me. Jason ran circles around the “major national law firm” team that was assigned to defend my employer. In fact, Jason made them look silly at times. Jason always advocated my best interests, not his own. Jason is not only an exceptional attorney who helped my family to achieve a favorable outcome, but he is a friend. I’ve worked with major law firms throughout my career and when it comes to SOX and employment law matters, there is not a finer, more talented attorney than Jason Zuckerman.”
- “Jason is everything you could possibly ask for an an attorney: highly intelligent, thoughtful, and extraordinarily knowledgeable in his specialty of the law. In a very short period of time Jason was able to assimilate a laundry list of details and offer a compelling strategy on how to effectively proceed. Moreover, he is extremely responsive.”
- “Jason did an exceptional job in quickly understanding the intricacies of my case, grasping not only his field of expertise of employment law, but also the violations of law and SEC Regulations that were central to my dispute. The overall strategy he utilized insured that opposing counsel was challenged and made clear that this case would simply not proceed based on a timetable convenient to them. Jason is thorough, accurate and seemingly working at all hours based on phone calls and correspondence. Fortunately Jason has a very down to earth personality, understands issues readily and can convey in understandable language current “legal” circumstances and probable outcomes. I would easily and thoroughly recommend Jason for issues related to a Sarbanes-Oxley or employment related dispute.”
- “I selected Jason to handle my case after consulting with three other lawyers because of his extensive SOX experience and negotiation skills. My decision paid off as he easily surpassed all of my expectations. He quickly analyzed the merits of my case and aggressively engaged my former employer to reach a favorable settlement, avoiding years of potential litigation. He was responsive, professional, ethical and a great advocate on my behalf. I truly believe that I could not have found a better lawyer to represent my interests. He would be the first person I would recommend if a colleague or friend were to ever need similar services. Put simply, Jason is a top notch lawyer who works tirelessly to achieve a positive outcome for his clients. It’s easy to see why he is regarded as an expert in the field.”
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