Spinner v. Landau and Assocs.

Contractors working for publicly traded companies are afforded whistle blowing protection when reporting  violations of laws or Security and Exchange Commission regulations identified under Section 806 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“SOX”).  In Spinner, the respondent employer fired a certified public accountant after he reported an internal control and reconciliation problem at S.L. Green, the company his firm was hired to audit.  The Department of Labor (“DOL”) defines an employee as, “an individual presently or formerly working for a company or company representative . . . or an individual whose employment could be affected by a company or company representative.” Consistent with the DOL’s understanding, the Administrative Review Board found that Section 806 affords whistleblower protection to, “employees of contractors, subcontractors, or agents of publicly traded companies, regardless of the fact that the contract, subcontractor, or agent was not itself a publicly traded company.”

Spinner v. Landau and Assocs., 2010-SOX-29, ARB’S Final Decision and Order of Remand, (Dep’t of Labor May 31, 2012).  See also Charles v. Profit Inv. Mgmt., 2005-SOX-015, ARB’s Final Decision and Order (Dep’t of Lab. Mar. 31, 2011). 29 C.F.R. § 1980.101.

(Development authored by Danielle Gonnella)

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