The Sarbanes-Oxley Act came in the wake of Enron's sudden sinking. It aimed in part to foster the early blowing of whistles on fraud at "publicly traded" companies in order to avoid further titanic shipwrecks al-la the Greatest Company in the World's. The Act did so in part by barring retaliation against "an employee" who blew the whistle on fraudulent activity. But does the bar protect an "employee" whose whistle-blowing concerns not her own employer but a public company that engaged her firm as an independent contractor?
Yes, the Supreme Court held today in Lawson v. FMR LLC, No. 12-3 (U.S. Mar. 4, 2014).
The 6-3 Court thus ruled that Sarbanes-Oxley protected a whistle-blowing employee of a contractor that managed a publicly-traded but employee-free mutual fund for fraud by the mutual fund.