Corporate and criminal fraud accountability is a provision within the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002 making criminal penalties for securities fraud. This provision also focuses on securing employees of publicly traded companies from penalizing actions from their employers for reporting shareholder fraud and Securities & Exchange Commission violation. The provision in simple terms protects the whistleblowers against employer retaliation. The objective of the provision is not just to prevent retaliatory actions on employees but also to stop defraud of investors of publicly traded securities.
Punitive actions against employees can include demotion, threatening, discharge, harassment, suspension or any other form of discrimination. An employee who has been subjected to any of these actions for his lawful act is entitled to relief to make good his or her loss. Compensatory damages include reinstatement of his or her job with the same seniority status, back pay with interest and compensation for costs sustained such as expert witness fees, litigation fees and reasonable attorney fees.