Whistleblowers Working Abroad Gain Protection under the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act

Whistleblowers working abroad for American subsidiaries just scored a major victory. The Southern District of New York in O’Mahony v. Accenture et al. recently ruled that the plaintiff, Rosemary O’Mahony, states a valid claim under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). O’Mahony, a British citizen, worked at Accenture in France for 14 years before being suddenly demoted after alerting her superiors in both the United States and France that the company failed to make more than $3 million in social security payments to France.

The main issue before the Southern District of New York was whether the Sarbanes-Oxley Act applies to employees, like O’Mahony, working overseas. The court held that SOX applied to O’Mahony because: (1) she was employed and compensated by a United States subsidiary of a foreign corporation; (2) the alleged retaliation and cover-up implicated Accenture employees working in the United States; and (3) the suit was being brought against a “foreign parent and its United States subsidiary for the alleged misconduct of the United States subsidiary in the United States.”

To read more about the case, please visit Law.com’s article entitled, N.Y. Judge Applies SOX Protections to Ex-Partner of Global Firm’s French Office.