Good news: Employees who allege they were fired for blowing the whistle on their employers for activities that violated the federal Sarbanes-Oxley Act can’t also sue under Colorado’s common-law public-policy exception to at-will employment.
Instead, they can pursue only their Sarbanes-Oxley Act remedies and don’t get a second bite at the apple.
Recent case: Paul Morrison was the director of internal audits for his employer. He discovered what he believed was an improper accounting practice and reported it to the company and its accounting firm. As a result, the company corrected its accounting procedures.
Then Morrison discovered what he thought was suspicious and possibly illegal insider trading. He reported this, too. But this time the company told Morrison he should resign because it believed his allegations were false. He refused and filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor, alleging a violation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act: retaliation against him for his previous whistle-blowing. He sued under Sarbanes-Oxley, plus Colorado’s common-law prohibition of.
The court dismissed the common-law claim, saying it applied only if there were no other statute that the employee could use. Morrison’s sole remedy was under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. (Morrison v. MacDermid, No. 07-CV-01535, DC CO, 2008)
Final note: Colorado common law allows lawsuits for wrongful discharge when the employee refuses to participate in illegal activities, gives up a job-related legal right or privilege, or exposes illegal activity. However, if there’s a specific law that the employee can use to sue his employer, he must use that remedy instead.
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/8199/one-less-tune-for-whistle-blowers-to-play-sarbanes-oxley-act-trumps-colorado-common-law "
- It doesn't matter who started it! Managers must always behave appropriately
- What is Philadelphia's law on requesting info on applicants' criminal records?
- How your management style can stop workplace violence
- When it comes to retaliation fears, don't sweat the small stuff—because courts won't
- Don't drag feet on accommodation; delay can equal discrimination