Employment counsel Jim McQuade was interviewed by Inside Counsel about the broadening interpretation of whistleblower protections under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“SOX”).
McQuade stated that the 10th Circuit Court’s broad interpretation of Sarbanes-Oxley is important because it “could have the effect of continuing to expand the scope of protected activity under SOX, which, in turn, could lead to an increase in SOX claims.”
He also commented on issues to consider when making small employment changes in the midst of a protected activity.
McQuade stated that “employers should seek to not only prevent those employees who have knowledge of another employee’s protected activity from making any adverse decisions affecting that employee, but also should seek to prevent those employees from influencing any employment decisions affecting the protected employee. Secondly, if an adverse employment action is being taken against an employee who previously had engaged in protected activity, in-house counsel should determine whether the relevant decision maker has knowledge of the protected activity or was influenced by another who [did].”