Ohio Whistleblower Lawyer Best Response: Can myemployer fire me for refusing to engage in accounting fraud? Can I be fired for complaining that I think my boss is engaging in some illegal accounting methods? What should I do if I was wrongfully terminated?
Many Americans remember the harrowing fallout from the Enron and the Maddoff scandal. Millions of dollars were lost by hard working Americans who were affected by both scandals and soon thereafter Congress began enacting stricter laws in an effort to prevent future financial scandals. Sarbanes Oxley (“SOX”) was enacted by United States Congress in 2002 as part of the fight to combat financial fraud. One of the provisions of SOX provides protection to individuals who reasonably believe their company is involved in some form of financial fraud or violation of SOX. A whistleblower provision of SOX states, in part, the following:
No company with a class of securities registered under section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78l).….. may discharge, demote, suspend, threaten, harass, or in any other manner discriminate against an employee in the terms and conditions of employment because of any lawful act done by the employee to provide information, cause information to be provided, or otherwise assist in an investigation regarding any conduct which the employee reasonably believes constitutes a violation of section 1341, 1343, 1344, or 1348, any rule or regulation of the Securities and Exchange Commission, or any provision of Federal law relating to fraud against shareholders…”
Employees who either report a SOX violation to a federal regulatory/law enforcement agency, member of Congress or their direct supervisor are protected under the act. Employees are also protected under SOX if they “to file, cause to be filed, testify, participate in, or otherwise assist in a proceeding filed or about to be filed (with any knowledge of the employer) relating to an alleged violation of section 1341, 1343, 1344, or 1348, any rule or regulation of the Securities and Exchange Commission, or any provision of Federal law relating to fraud against shareholders.”
Employees are entitled to a jury trial and prohibit employers from enforcing arbitration agreements that waive an employee’s right and remedies against retaliation in connection with a whistleblowing event. Employees who are discharged for engaging in protected activity may be entitled to damages in the form of reinstatement with seniority intact, back pay with interest, and compensation for special damages such as litigation costs, expert witness fees, and reasonable attorney fees.
Ohio law also provides job protections to those employees that report or oppose illegal or unsafe conduct or work conditions, such as OSHA violations, embezzlement, unlawful discrimination, or patient abuse, to name a few. However, in order to have the protections under the law, there are a lot of steps that each employee must take. That is why it is absolutely critical for any employee confronted with illegal or unsafe conduct or work conditions at work to immediately consult with employment law lawyers in order to make sure that everything is done right. If you wait until you are fired, you may have already lost your claim. Do not wait. If you have seen any illegal or dangerous conduct on your job, then the best thing you can do is call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation at (216) 291-4744. The Spitz Law Firm, and its attorneys are experienced and dedicated to protecting Ohio employees from retaliation after blowing the whistle on unlawful and hazardous activities at work.
The materials available at the top of this whistle blower claims page and on this employment law website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. If you are still asking, “what should I do if I am being harassed for reporting…”, “how do I …?”, “Am I …?”, “what should I do if…” or “can my boss fired me for …”, it would be best for you to contact an Ohio attorney to obtain advice with respect to particular whistleblower claims questions or any particular employment law issue. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of The Spitz Law Firm, attorney Brian Spitz, or any individual attorney.