03/06/2013 05:43:05 PM EST Judge: Whistle-Blower Will Be Given Chance To Plead His Claims Posted by LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Daily Legal News
HARRISON, Ark. - A federal judge in Arkansas on March 5 refused to dismiss a motion to dismiss in a whistle-blower wrongful termination lawsuit, ruling that the former employee will be given an opportunity to show that his assistance in a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into alleged federal securities law violations led to his employment termination (Bryan Hix v. FedEx Corp., et al., No. 12-3050, W.D. Ark.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29224). Full story on lexis.com.
SUIT FILED AGAINST FEDEX CORP (FDX) AND SUBSIDIARIES PURSUANT TO SARBANES-OXLEY / DODD-FRANK ANTI-RETALIATION PROVISIONS
Federal suit alleges retaliation and harassment following protected disclosures to U.S. Department of Justice and Securities Exchange Commission.
FAYETTEVILLE, AR – A former employee is suing FedEx Corporation (FDX), along with subsidiary operating companies FedEx Freight and FedEx Corporate Services, claiming that several company agents conducted a yearlong campaign of harassment against him, culminating in the termination of his employment with FedEx Services in April 2011.
The suit alleges that the employee repeatedly raised concerns regarding deceptive schemes and practices he believes the company is conducting, with the intent of defrauding shareholders. Following disclosure of his concerns to FedEx management and law enforcement authorities, as mandated by published FedEx policies and federal law, the employee says his direct supervisors, working in collusion with FedEx employees and agents, harassed, defamed and retaliated against him in an effort to discredit his claims, punish him financially and emotionally, and discourage any similar, future disclosure activity on the part of other FedEx employees.
Anti-retaliation provisions contained in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act expressly prohibit retaliation against employees who engage in protected activity, as defined by law. Specifically, covered employers are prohibited from discharging, demoting, suspending, threatening, harassing, directly or indirectly, or in any other matter discriminate against, a whistleblower in the terms and conditions of employment because of any lawful act done by the whistleblower (i) in providing information to the SEC; (ii) in initiating, testifying in, or assisting in any investigation or judicial or administrative action of the Commission based upon or related to such information; or (iii) in making disclosures that are required or protected under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (15 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.), the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78a et seq.), including section 10A(m) of such Act (15 U.S.C. 78f(m)), section 1513(e) of title 18, United States Code, and any other law, rule, or regulation subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission.
Among the claims at issue in the suit, the former employee alleges that a number of FedEx business practices were intentionally designed to artificially manipulate key financial metrics, thereby affecting the value of company stock.
The style of the lawsuit is Hix v. FedEx Corporation, et al.; Case No. 3:2012cv03050; Cause No. 28:1391 United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas, Harrison Division.