U.S. Supreme Court grants whistleblower protection to private contractors

The Supreme Court interpreted the Sarbanes-Oxley Act shield for whistleblowers to include employees of private contractors and subcontractors in a 6-3 decision. Plaintiffs in the case said that the mutual fund advisory and management company employing them fired them for pointing out possible securities fraud in publicly traded Fidelity mutual funds. Writing for the majority, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg said, “It is common ground that Congress installed whistleblower protection in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act as one means to ward off another Enron debacle.” Enron went bust in 2001 when greed triumphed over prudent management. (Courthouse News Service, March 4, 2014, by Annie Youderian)

Those uneasy with the decision fear that there will be an avalanche of weak cases. “The financial improprieties employees can claim to have blown the whistle on include mail and wire fraud, which have extremely broad definitions and could include virtually anything impacting a public company’s finances or the activity of its employees,” wrote Daniel Fisher of Forbes, March 4, 2014,