Whistleblower Law Blog

NWC, NELA, and The Employment Law Group® Submit Brief in Support of SOX Whistleblowers Abroad

The National Whistleblower Center, National Employment Lawyers Association, and The Employment Law Group® law firm filed an amicus brief in Villanueva v. Core Laboratories NV, a case before the Department of Labor Administrative Review Board (ARB).  Our amicus brief argues that whistleblowers at overseas subsidiaries remain protected under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) when the protected activity includes emails to the U.S., and the decision to fire the whistleblower is made in the U.S.

Whistleblower William Villanueva was CEO of Saybolt Columbia, a subsidiary of Core Laboratories NV – a publicly traded company based in Houston, Texas.  In 2008, Villanueva warned executives in Houston that other executives were engaging in illegal tax schemes.  After Villanueva refused to sign a false tax return, Core fired him.  The Sarbanes-Oxley Act prohibits publicly traded companies and their subsidiaries from retaliating against an employee that reports wrongdoing related to:

  1. Mail, wire, bank, or securities fraud;
  2. Fraud against shareholders; or
  3. Violations of any Securities and Exchange Commission rule or regulation.

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