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Sponsors of SOX Whistleblower Provision Disappointed with DOL’s Efforts to Undermine SOX Whistleblower Protection

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Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a letter to the Department of Labor Secretary Elaine Chao expressing their disappointment with the Department’s overly restrictive interpretation of the whistleblower protection provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“SOX”).  The letter pointed to a recent Wall Street Journal article reporting that approximately sixty-six percent of SOX whistleblower cases were dismissed since 2002, many of which on the grounds that the employee worked for a subsidiary of a publicly traded company rather than directly for a publicly traded company.  Senators Leahy and Grassley, the sponsors of the SOX whistleblower provision, explain that Congress never intended to limit SOX whistleblower protections to direct employees of publicly traded companies. Instead, the broad language of the whistleblower protection provision was meant to protect direct employees of publicly traded companies as well as employees of contractors, subcontractors and agents of publicly traded companies.

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