OSHA Orders Company to Pay SOX Whistleblower Back Wages

According to its recent press release, OSHA issued a preliminary order requiring SpongeTech Delivery Systems, Inc. of New York (Company), a cleaning product company, to pay a complainant $31,835.33 in back wages based on its determination that she was retaliated against in violation of Section 806 of SOX. Complainant apparently reported fraudulent sales to Company officials. According to the press release, during a November 2009 trade show in the Netherlands, Complainant discovered that, despite Company representations to the contrary, the Company did not have any European sales. On January 11, 2010, shortly after Complainant brought these alleged misrepresentations to the attention of her superiors, the Company terminated her employment. On April 7, 2010, Complainant filed a whistleblower retaliation complaint under Section 806 of SOX with OSHA. OSHA determined that the Company at least considered Complainant’s whistleblowing activities when it terminated her employment. Both parties have 30 days to appeal the decision to the DOL Office of Administrative Law Judges.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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