Whistleblower Law: A Guide to Legal Protections for Corporate Employees
In the wake of the Enron implosion and the subsequent revelations of numerous cases of corporate misconduct, sweeping legislation was enacted to reform the system of corporate financial oversight and to ensure protection for employees and investors. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, signed into law by President George W. Bush on July 20, 2002, is a landmark in policymaking, business law, and social activism. Whisteblower Law is the first book to explain and analyze the impact and implications of this legislation, especially as it pertains to the rights of whistleblowers―those who dare to come forward with evidence of wrongdoing. Written by the leading experts in the field and drawing on their extensive experience in advising law-makers, arguing cases, and training professionals, Whisteblower Law will become the standard reference for lawyers, judges, and mediators; corporate executives and managers; employees of publicly traded companies; labor leaders and human resource advocates; and potential whistleblower alike.
The authors point out that the impact of Sarbanes-Oxley and related reforms in law and policy will have a profound effect on the corporate and legal communities. For example, the law mandates for the first time that all publicly traded companies establish formal whistleblowing programs and that corporate attorneys must divulge information that would implicate their clients in criminal acts, effectively becoming whistleblowers themselves.
About the Author
STEPHEN M. KOHN is a partner in the Washington, D.C., law firm of Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, LLP, and Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the National Whistleblower Center. He is the former Director of Corporate Litigation for the Government Accountability Project. Nationally recognized for his scholarship and litigation on behalf of whistleblowers, Kohn in 1985 authored the first legal text on whistleblower law. He is the author of Concepts and Procedures in Whistleblower Law (Quorum, 2000).
Stephen M. Kohn is the nation’s leading whistleblower rights attorney. He represented UBS Swiss banker Bradley Birkenfeld, and won the largest reward ever paid to an individual whistleblower: $104 million dollars obtained under the IRS tax fraud whistleblower rewards program. His record of winning whistleblower cases, at trial and on appeal, dates back to 1984. Many of his court victories have become landmark precedents in modern workplace law.
A respected scholar as well as a litigator, he has testified in Congress on behalf of whistleblowers and worked with the Senate Judiciary and Banking committees to draft corporate whistleblower protections under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Dodd-Frank Act and Whistleblower Protection Act. He is the author of the first legal treatise on whistleblowing and is the world’s most published author on whistleblower protection. He is a partner in the Washington D.C. law firm of Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, and serves pro bono as the director of the National Whistleblower Center. He currently specializes in whistleblower cases filed under the False Claims Act, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the IRS tax fraud whistleblower rewards law, the Securities Exchange Commission’s whistleblower program and qui tam whistleblower laws.
MICHAEL D. KOHN is a partner in Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, P.C., and a member of the National Whisteblower Center. A specialist in whistleblowing law, he is co-author, with Stephen M. Kohn, of The Labor Lawyer’s Guide to the Rights and Responsibilities of Employee Whistleblowers (Quorum, 1988).
DAVID K. COLAPINTO is a partner in Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, P.C., and a member of the National Whistleblower Center. He has represented numerous whistleblowers before the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
- Hardcover: 285 pages
- Publisher: Praeger (September 30, 2004)
“The authors of this book have provided actual and potential whistleblowers with the inestimable advantage of a thorough analysis of the impact and implications of … legislation … passed in the wake of the Enron scandal”-International Labour Review
?The authors of this book have provided actual and potential whistleblowers with the inestimable advantage of a thorough analysis of the impact and implications of … legislation … passed in the wake of the Enron scandal?-International Labour Review
“An absolute must read for each and every corporate employee and manager. The book takes complex legal issues and makes them fully understandable to auditors, human resource managers, whistleblowers and other corporate employees.”-Kris Kolesnik, Director National Whistleblower Center
“[P]rovides a clear, comprehensive and easy-to-understand explanation of the employee-protection requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Whistleblower Law explains how this new law works, including the legal and procedural requirements that must be met by the employee whistleblower. With this book in hand, managers can ensure they comply with the law, and whistleblowers can ensure their rights are protected.”-U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley Principal Republican Co-Sponsor Sarbanes-Oxley Corporate Whistleblower Law
“In 2002, the Enron scandal and subsequent congressional hearings led to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, one of the most extensive corporate reform initiatives in decades. A vital part of those reforms are provisions defending the courage of the whistleblowers who provide the information that helps uncover this greed and corruption. For these gutsy people who choose to risk so much to report fraud and abuse, this important and well-organized reference guide details the history of whistleblower laws and the historical employment protections now in place because of Sarbanes-Oxley. The authors are noted advocates for whistleblower reform and accomplished practitioners in whistleblower cases. Their unquestioned expertise shines through in this comprehensive study.”-U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, Leading sponsor of the whistleblower protections for reporting security fraud, contained in Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002
It’s a new world out there
This is an extremely well written, clear, and cautious overview of new federal protections for whistleblowers, because that’s really what has happened since 2002. Do take note that it is really directed for employees in the private sector; if you are in a government job things may be somewhat different. Or very, very different depending on your location. It would be nice to learn more about private sector jobs that are subcontracted out by government agencies and the whistleblowing is “on” the contractors, but this may be too complex or may need to go through the courts.
Certainly I wish that I had had something like this 14 years ago, when I was caught up in a whistleblowing problem that cost me my job and my life (not that I died, obviously, but that my life could never be the same, not that I really wanted it to be). I took whatever legal guides I could find, but in addition to their being contradictory and sketchy, their bindings were insufficient for the size of their pages and all collapsed within a matter of weeks.
Of course, even more, I wish that the SOX laws were in effect at that time; then the burden of proof really fell upon us, and if we were going to fight their legal teams on any sort of even ground, it was bound to get very nasty.