Lawson v. FMR LLC, 571 U.S. ___, 134 S. Ct. 1158 (2014)

Plaintiffs in this case are former employees of private companies that contract to advise or manage mutual funds (collectively, “FMR”). Both plaintiffs allege that they “blew the whistle” on putative fraud relating to the mutual funds and as a result suffered retaliation from FMR. Plaintiffs filed suit in federal court alleging violations of the whistleblower protection provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. FMR moved to dismiss the actions on the ground that plaintiffs were not employees of a public company, but were instead employees of private companies that contract with public companies. The United States Supreme Court reversed the dismissal of plaintiffs’ claims, holding that the statute’s whistleblower protection extends to employees of contractors and subcontractors of public companies. See also Ventress v. Japan Airlines, 2014 WL 1258133 (9th Cir. 2014) (Federal Aviation Act preempted former employee’s retaliation and constructive termination claims).