Changes Finally Made|for Retaliation Claims

     WASHINGTON (CN) – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has amended the regulations for retaliation or whistleblower employee claims under Section 806 of the Corporate and Criminal Fraud Accountability Act, Title VIII of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act .
     These revisions are meant to clarify and improve the procedures for handling Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower complaints and implement statutory changes enacted into law as part of the 2010 statutory amendments.
     Dodd-Frank, enacted on July 21, 2010, amended the Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower provision to make several substantive changes.
     First, Dodd-Frank added protection for employees from retaliation by nationally recognized statistical rating organizations or their officers, employees, contractors, subcontractors, and agents.
     Second, Dodd-Frank extended the statutory filing period for retaliation complaints under Sarbanes-Oxley from 90 to 180 days after the date on which the violation occurs or after the date on which the employee became aware of the violation.
     Dodd-Frank also provided parties with a right to a jury trial in district court actions brought under Sarbanes-Oxley’s “kickout” provision, which provides that, if the Secretary has not issued a final decision within 180 days of the filing of the complaint and there is no showing that there has been delay due to the bad faith of the complainant, the complainant may bring an action at law or equity for de novo review in the appropriate district court of the United States, which will have jurisdiction over such action without regard to the amount in controversy.
     Third, Sarbanes-Oxley was amended to state that the rights and remedies provided for in 18 U.S.C. 1514A may not be waived by an agreement, policy form, or condition of employment, including by a predispute arbitration agreement, and to provide that no predispute arbitration agreement will be valid or enforceable, if the agreement requires arbitration of a dispute arising under this section.

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