SOX retaliation and national boundaries

Villanueva worked for a Colombian affiliate of a publicly-traded entity subject to Sarbanes-Oxley.  He alleged that he was terminated after reporting a scheme by his employer to understate revenue to Colombian tax authorities.  Villanueva v. U.S. Department of Labor, No. 12-60122 (Feb. 12, 2014).  The Fifth Circuit affirmed the DOL’s rejection of his claim for whistleblower protection under SOX, concluding: “Villanueva did not provide inforotmation regarding conduct that he reasonably believed violated one of the six provisions of U.S. law enumerated in § 806; rather, he provided information regarding conduct that he reasonably believed violated Colombian law.”  (Footnote 1 notes that the Court did not reach the broader issue whether section 806 applies extraterritorially.)  Law 360 has reported on the case and collected opinion from both sides of the employment bar.


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