The Supreme Court ruled in favor of expanding the whistleblower protections of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to include private firms that act as contractors and subcontractors for public companies, which could have major implications for accountants.
The 6 to 3 decision reversed a lower court decision involving Section 1514A of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which was enacted in the wake of accounting scandals such as Enron and WorldCom. The case, Lawson et al v. FMR LLC, involved a pair of employees, Jackie Hosang Lawson and Jonathan M. Zang, who worked for a contractor that provided advisory and management services to the Fidelity family of mutual funds. They were dismissed after blowing the whistle on what they claimed were misrepresentations in the fees charged to shareholders and the disclosures to the SEC.
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