Passed in 2002 in the wake of the accounting scandals that resulted in billions of dollars of lost value to shareholders, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act has as its major goal the prevention of corporate corruption. This Article analyzes the impact of Section 806, the portion of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act that provides protections for employees who report securities fraud, and describes the effect that Sarbanes-Oxley has on existing employment law. In addition, this Article contributes to the debate over the general effectiveness of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, a topic of contention among both academics and press commentators. This Article argues that the Act does not go far enough to protect whistleblowers because employers do not need to specify procedures for acting upon tips that financial fraud is occurring. Also, employers most likely can send whistleblowing claims to arbitration, a forum that weakens the remedies available to employees. Finally, this Article provides a comprehensive survey of state whistleblowing laws and suggests changes to federal and state law to fill the gaps that remain after Sarbanes-Oxley.
Cherry, Miriam A., Whistling in the Dark? Corporate Fraud, Whistleblowers, and the Implications of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act for Employment Law. Washington Law Review, Vol. 79, p. 1029, 2004. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=614582