In a stunning expansion of previously understood law, the Supreme Court held, on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, that the employees of a contractor to a publicly traded company may sue their employer for retaliation suffered as a result of their complaints about the publicly traded company. The case was titled, Lawson v. FMR LLC.
Future courts will have to struggle with the possible limitations of this expansive ruling, but for now, all contractors to publicly traded companies should take care to review Lawson and immediately contact legal counsel if their employees raise concerns about a publicly traded company’s actions. Contractors should no longer assume that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“SOX”) does not apply to them simply because they are, themselves, not a publicly traded company.
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