Whistleblowers who expose the illegal accounting practices of their employer may experience retaliation from their employer in the form of termination, demotion, harassment or other discriminatory actions. When whistleblowers experience such retaliation, they can sue their employer under the federal government’s whistleblower protection laws. Such laws can help employees receive compensation, a settlement, a reinstatement or even a reward. The most widely cited laws used to protect whistleblowers who expose fraudulent accounting are the Dodd-Frank Act and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX).
If an accountant, for example, discovers their employer has been lying about their sales revenue in their financial reports to shareholders, and the accountant discloses this to the employer’s shareholders, then the employer fires the accountant, the terminated employee can sue the employer under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act or the Dodd-Frank Act.
Whistleblowers can also receive protections and even rewards under several other finance-related whistleblower programs. Some of these include: