Protection of whistleblower in relation to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, (SOX) is still wanting and this articles advocates for change in legislation to compensate for the service of whistleblowers. Whistleblowers are highly ranked in America, one being Deep Throat in the times of Watergate and years that followed. Whistleblowers are exposed to and financial insecurity; hence, the need for federal legislation to protect them.
SOX Act was intended at protecting whistleblowers in publicly traded business organizations. However, as it stands, it is only a mirage due to legal inadequacies that are not effective in offering full protection to whistleblowers. To justify this claim, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, (OSHA) that carries investigations does not have adequate experience to handle cases of this stature. SOX Act does not provide for punitive damages and this places whistleblowers in the danger of unemployment. These pitfalls need amendments as a remedy towards full protection of whistleblowers.
The SOX Act provides protection to whistleblowers of security fraud; but according to how it was formulated, there is a loophole between legislations as offered at federal and states levels. For example, New York’s SOX law protects whistleblowers who report big frauds in public health and safety sectors. Most states still have legal disparities with federal law. In order to strengthen state acts, there should be use of forceful language, increasing the jurisdiction of the act, increasing employers’ liability, and imposition of hefty penalties against employers who break the law.
This should be followed by making it a responsibility of the employers to motivate staffs to report cases of security frauds. Setting hotline for reporting cases of fraud and proper articulation of whistleblowers’ rights are other responsibilities of employers to encourage whistle blowing.