Whistleblowers are important in uncovering fraud and abuse, but they risk their careers, personal lives, and finances when they come forward. Protections for whistleblowers are crucial, and it is illegal for companies to retaliate against employees who report illegal activity.
In the case of Murray v. UBS Securities LLC, The Anti-Fraud Coalition, with support from Better Markets and The National Employment Lawyers Association, filed an amicus curiae brief to the U.S. Supreme Court. The brief urges the Court to restore the safeguards for whistleblowers and protect them from retaliation.
Unfortunately, a decision made by the Second Circuit last year has made it more difficult for whistleblowers to bring forward cases of unlawful retaliation.
The case involves UBS Securities, which fired an employee, Trevor Murray, for refusing to skew his reports to support UBS’s business strategies. While Murray won the case under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the Second Circuit vacated the verdict. The court held that Murray was required to show that UBS acted with retaliatory intent, which conflicts with the plain language of the statute and Congress’s objective to protect whistleblowers from retaliation better.
If the Second Circuit’s decision is not reversed, it could have negative consequences for investors, financial markets, and the economy as a whole.