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Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) became law on July 30, 2002 and applies to companies listed on the U.S. stock exchanges. The Act requires the CEO and CFO to certify and be personally liable for the accuracy of annual and quarterly financial reports under penalty of law. In addition, they are responsible for establishing and maintaining internal controls, and reporting on their effectiveness. Reporting must also include:

  • Significant deficiencies in the design or operation of internal controls.
     

  • Any fraud that involves management or other employees integral to internal control processes.
     

  • Any changes to internal controls.

Section 301(4) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires procedures for the collection and resolution of employee complaints regarding financial and accounting control issues. Complaint procedures must allow for anonymous and confidential submissions of information.

Certain IT employees may have knowledge of financial information and procedures in the course of their job responsibilities. It is unlawful under the whistleblower provision of Sarbanes-Oxley to terminate an employee for reporting improper financial practices. In such cases, the fired IT employee may be reinstated with back pay and interest, reimbursed for legal expenses, and have all related information that is damaging to the employee removed from his or her personnel file.

Sarbanes-Oxley Case

There have been increasing numbers of claims against companies for violations of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Barron Stone filed a SOX lawsuit against his former employer Duke Energy.

Stone alleged that he was wrongfully terminated for reporting questionable financial practices by his employer. The initial complaint to the Department of Labordeclared that Sarbanes-Oxley was not violated. Stone appealed the case and the Department of Labor then allowed the plaintiff to file a Federal lawsuit. There are several other cases with similar stories. Governmental agencies are now just working out how to process these types of claims.


The above book excerpt is from:

You're Fired! Firing Computer Professionals

The IT manager Guide for Terminating "With Cause"

ISBN 0-9744486-4-8

Robert Papaj 

http://www.rampant-books.com/book_2005_1_firing.htm

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