When Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, it included a whistleblower provision (Section 806) that protected employees of public companies who were victims of retaliation after they had either disclosed or complained about fraudulent acts by their employers.
Since then, the number of cases that can be brought under SOX has been significantly increased. In the 2014 case of Lawson v. FMR, for example, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that contractors, subcontractors and agents of certain public companies could be held liable for retaliation.
Whistleblower protections were also boosted when Congress enacted the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. Under that law, employees have greatly expanded rights to seek protection and relief from retaliation on the part of their employers.
Overall, the number of ways in which whistleblowers can take action against their employers has increased, as have the protections to whistleblowers themselves, dramatically increasing thee whistleblower claims filed each year throughout the country. Considering the highly sensitive information involved in such claims and the fact that many companies would rather keep these allegations away from the public eye, this can make whistleblower cases prime candidates for alternative dispute resolution (ADR).
Pre-lawsuit mediation, for example, could help resolve a whistleblower action before a full claim arises, meaning the issue can be put to bed before it goes public.
In some circumstances, it could be sensible for both parties to find a resolution by binding arbitration. Unlike lawsuits, arbitration proceedings are completely confidential. Experienced arbitrators or arbitration panels who have deep knowledge of whistleblower law can offer all parties involved a forum in which they may efficiently and privately resolve their disputes.
For more information and guidance on the use of alternative dispute resolution when it comes to whistleblower claims, speak with a knowledgeable Dallas attorney at Whistleblower Law for Managers.