180-Day Sarbanes-Oxley Statute of Limitations
The deadline for a SOX whistleblower to file a complaint is 180 days after they either experience or become aware of the unlawful retaliation.[i] The clock starts ticking once “the discriminatory decision has been both made and communicated to the complainant.”[ii] A complaint is considered filed once the Department of Labor receives it. A complaint sent by mail, however, is considered filed on the date of its postmark.
Though a discrete retaliatory act “occurs” on the day it happens and the complaint must be filed within 180 days, retaliatory acts outside the statute of limitations period are actionable where there is an ongoing hostile work environment and at least one of the acts occurred within the 180-day statute of limitations.
[i] 18 U.S.C. §1514A(b)(2)(D).
[ii] 29 CFR § 1980.103(d).
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What is the statute of limitations to file a SOX claim? | Zuckerman Law | Experienced Whistleblower Advocates | Jason Zuckerman | https://www.zuckermanlaw.com/ | (202) 262-8959 | 1629 K St NW, Ste 300, Washington, DC 20006
Under the anti-retaliation provision of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the statute of limitations is just 180 days from the date that the employee becomes aware of the adverse employment action. The only exception is for hostile work environment claims. For those claims, you can aggregate all the instances of harassment that, in the aggregate, would form a hostile work environment, as long as one of those instances occurred within the 180-day period. That’s why, when I speak to a new client, we try to identify all the adverse employment actions and try to determine whether we’re close to that 180-day period. I will note, however, that you can plead adverse employment actions outside the 180-day period because it’s helpful evidence. But the only ones that will be actionable, that will allow you to get a recovery, are the ones that happened within that 180-day period.