The U.S. Supreme Court Examine Whistleblower Case!

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The US Supreme Court will use an appeal by a fired UBS Group research strategist to decide how hard it will be under federal investor-protection law for whistleblowers to win suits claiming retaliation. The justices agreed on Monday to hear arguments from Trevor Murray, who is seeking to reinstate a $900,000 jury verdict he won on allegations that he was fired for refusing to skew his reports to help the company’s business strategies.

The US Supreme Court has agreed to review a case involving UBS Group regarding the difficulty whistleblowers face when trying to win retaliation lawsuits against their employers. Trevor Murray, a former UBS bond strategist, filed a lawsuit against the company in 2021, claiming that he was unlawfully terminated after refusing to publish misleading research reports and complaining about being pressured to do so.

A lower court dismissed the lawsuit, and the New York-based 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals subsequently ruled that Murray had to prove retaliatory intent to win under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. In contrast, other federal appeals courts have said that plaintiffs don’t have to prove retaliatory intent. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, enacted in 2002 in response to accounting scandals, prohibits employers from discriminating against employees who report financial wrongdoing. Murray argued that the whistleblower protections afforded by the act are critical to the integrity of the national economy.


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