3rd Circ. Lowers Bar For SOX Whistleblowers In Tyco Case

By Ben James (March 19, 2013, 10:17 PM EDT) -- The Third Circuit on Tuesday revived whistleblower claims brought against Tyco Electronics Corp. by an accountant who was allegedly terminated for reporting improper expenditures, a much-anticipated decision that lawyers say expands the scope of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act's retaliation provision in line with the Obama labor department's worker-friendly interpretation.

The appeals court's precedential, 2-1 opinion said a lower court had erred by holding that Tyco accounting department veteran Jeffrey Wiest had to allege that his disclosures to supervisors "definitively and specifically" related to an existing violation of a particular anti-fraud law. 

According to the majority, whistleblowers only have to have a "reasonable...

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