Los Angeles Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Lawyer

"This law was long overdue."
                             --- James W. Johnston, Esq.


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Whistleblower Protection Under Sarbanes-Oxley
Among its many provisions, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act protects whistleblowers employed by publically traded companies and other companies that are required to file certain reports with the SEC from discrimination and retaliation. More specifically, SOX prohibits publicly traded companies and their officers, employees and agents, from discharging, demoting, suspending, threatening, harassing, or in any other matter discriminating against an employee because of any lawful act done by the employee that is covered by SOX. 18 U.S.C.A. 1514A(c).

Protected Activity Under Sarbanes-Oxley
SOX protects covered employees who provide information regarding any conduct that the employee reasonably believes constitutes a violation of:
  • any rule or regulation of the Securities and Exchange Commission;
  • federal criminal provisions relating to securities, bank, mail, or wirefraud;
  • or any federal law relating to fraud against shareholders.
An employee who provides such information to a federal regulatory or law enforcement agency, to a member or committee of Congress, or to a person with supervisory authority over the employee is protected. An employee who assists in any proceeding (whether filed or about to be filed) relating to an alleged violation of the same laws and regulations also is entitled to protection as a whistleblower

Remedies Available Under Sarbanes-Oxley
Whistleblower employees who have been terminated and who prevail in a SOX action are entitled to reinstatement, back pay, emotional distress damages, and attorney fees and costs.  Their also may be an entitlement to front pay where reinstatement is not possible.   Although punitive damages are not available under SOX, if the whistleblower was employed in California, an additional claim can be brought for wrongful termination in violation of public policy that can provide the basis for a punitive damages claim.

Dodd-Frank Act
In 2010 the Doff-Frank Act was signed into law. As part of its comprehensive program to ensure corporate accountability and compliance, the Dodd- Frank Act expanded the whistleblower protection provision of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act by extending the statute of limitations, clarifying the scope of coverage and right to a private civil action, allowing specifically for jury trials, and ensuring that the protections of SOX were non-waivable by employees in most cases. The Act also created an SEC whistleblower incentive program, which rewards those who provide information to the government on securities violations by giving whistleblowers a share of any money the government recovers. It also created a specific whistleblower-protection program for those who work in the financial industry to encourage them to come forward with information related to fraudulent conduct in the sale and marketing of consumer financial products or services, and strengthened the False Claims Act as well.

25 Years Experience
Mr. Johnston has been a lawyer for more than 25 years.  He has experience handling Sarbanes-Oxley and other types of whistleblower cases in Los Angeles and other areas of California.  If you believe that your employer has been defrauding the government, or if you have been retaliated against for reporting other types of illegal conduct by your employer, and would like to consult with a whistleblower lawyer in Los Angeles, we invite you to contact our office and make an appointment to speak with attorney Johnston about your case.  


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If you believe you have been the victim of employment discrimination in your workplace, we invite you to contact attorney Johnston about your potential claim(s) by clicking on the link in the box at left.


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The above information is provided as a courtesy of The Johnston Law Firm, and constitutes only a brief summary of some general employment law, discrimination issues and related legal rights under California law.  As such it does not constitute legal advice, and you should contact an attorney to discuss any specific employment issue you may have.  For further questions, please contact our  office on the forms provided.

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