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Lawson v. FMR LLC

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: March 4, 2014
Case #: 12-3
Ginsburg, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Roberts, C.J., and Breyer and Kagan, JJ., joined, and in which Scalia and Thomas, JJ., joined in principal part. Scalia, J., filed an opinion concurring in principal part and concurring in the judgment, in which Thomas, J., joined. Sotomayor, J., filed a dissenting opinion in which Kennedy and Alito, JJ., joined
Full Text Opinion: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/12-3_4f57.pdf

Employment Law: The whistleblower protection provision of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act shelters employees of private contractors and subcontractors.

Petitioners, former employees of Respondents, contracted to work for Respondents. Petitioners allege that Respondents retaliated against Petitioner for whistleblowing.

The lower court denied Respondents' motion to dismiss, rejecting their argument that Sarbanes-Oxley's protection only extended to employees of public companies. On interlocutory appeal, the First Circuit reversed, accepting Respondents' argument. Later, the Department Of Labor's Administrative Review Board issued an opinion in an unrelated case extending protection to employees of privately held contractors that render services to public companies.

The Supreme Court reversed, remanded and held that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act protects the employees of private companies who contract with public companies just as it protects the employees of public companies.