Section 806: Protection for Employees of Publicly Traded Companies Who Provide Evidence of Fraud
As mentioned above, the wrongdoing at WorldCom only came to light after an insider, VP of Internal Audit Cynthia Cooper, discovered and reported the massive fraud (the largest in US history). This section protects such whistleblowers from retaliation by the company. Under this section an employee is engaging in protected whistleblower conduct if they suspect and report:
- federal mail, wire, bank, or securities fraud
- a violation of federal law relating to fraud against shareholders
- a violation of any rule or regulation of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
The protections apply to a employees and contractors of publicly traded companies or their subsidiaries, as well as to someone with a nationally recognized statistical ratings organization (NRSRO).
Under this section, someone who retaliates against a whistleblower can be subject to criminal charges.