Experts: SCOTUS ruling shifts onus to employers in whistleblower cases


The Supreme Court’s unanimous decision Thursday to reaffirm whistleblower protections under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) in a case involving UBS has wide ramifications in many other industries beyond financial services, legal experts told Compliance Week.

The case, Murray v. UBS Securities, saw the court rule whistleblowers don’t have to prove they were terminated because of “retaliatory intent”—a precedent that broadly impacts corporate internal reporting cases in favor of whistleblowers.

“This ruling goes way beyond SOX,” said Gordon Schnell, partner with whistleblower law firm Constantine Cannon. The court’s decision referenced other whistleblower protection laws besides SOX, he said, including laws covering whistleblowing by civil servants and employees in the aviation, food, pharmaceuticals, auto safety, consumer product, and energy industries.

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