Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Protections Apply to Non-Tangible Employment Action

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The U.S. Department of Labor Administrative Review Board (ARB) has concluded in Menendez v. Halliburton, Inc., that an employer's release of a whistleblower's identity to other employees violated the whistleblower's right to confidentiality, which by itself constituted an adverse action against the whistleblower and thus violated the anti-retaliation provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX). The ARB determined that whistleblowers are protected against unfavorable employment action that is "more than trivial" and "non-tangible," even when the whistleblower's reasonable belief was ultimately mistaken.

Background. On May 8, 2006, Anthony Menendez brought a claim against his employer, Halliburton, Inc., under Section 806 of SOX, alleging that he suffered retaliatory adverse action as a result of his report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and his employer's Audit Committee of perceived defective accounting practices.

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Published In: Administrative Agency Updates, Civil Rights Updates, Labor & Employment Updates

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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