Whistleblower Law Blog

Banker & Tradesmen Quotes TELG Attorney on SOX Ruling in Pezza

Laura Schreier wrote an article in Banker & Tradesmen titled Dodd-Frank Weighs Heavily on Mass. Whistleblower Case in which she discusses the recent U.S. District Court ruling in Pezza v. Investors Capital Corp. that Section 922(e) of the Dodd-Frank Act applies to pending cases.  Section 922(e) bans pre-dispute agreements in employment contracts that require Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblowers to settle disputes with their employer in arbitration instead of federal court.  The article quoted Jason Zuckerman, a principal attorney at The Employment Law Group® law firm:

[Zuckerman] said such cases belong in the public spotlight – indeed, having a courtroom trial is precisely the point of blowing the whistle in the first place.These people take action because they want underhanded deeds brought to light in a public court – an outcome denied by arbitration, Zuckerman said. Dodd-Frank’s new rules essentially correct an oversight from the post-Enron Sarbanes-Oxley Act, where whistleblowers gained protections but were not explicitly protected from signing employment contracts that included arbitration requirements.Dodd-Frank also allows for a reward for whistleblowers who bring their concerns to the SEC, something the American Bankers Association has vigorously opposed.…Zuckerman, for his part, applauds the idea.By providing a significant reward, he said, it is hoped more employees will do the right thing and reveal bad practices.

“From my perspective, one has to ask, where were all those people at the large financial institutions who knew about the significant corporate wrongdoing in the financial industry and the housing industry, and didn’t speak up about it?” he asked.If they had an incentive to come forward, he said, it’s possible that many of the glaring financial problems building in the economy would have come to light before they imploded.


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