DOL Orders Charles Schwab to Reinstate Fraud Whistleblowers
The U.S. Department of Labor has ordered The Charles Schwab Corp. to reinstate and pay back pay and damages to two employees who were fired in violation of the whistleblower provision of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. The whistleblower complaint was filed with OSHA on June 15, 2007, naming The Charles Schwab Corp., Charles Schwab & Co. Inc., Charles Schwab Bank, and three individuals as defendants.
The complaint alleged that the two employees were terminated because they objected to and refused to participate in a scheme at a branch office to falsify entries in Schwab's database system. An investigation conducted by OSHA's Whistleblower Protection Program determined that there was merit to the allegations.
"This case sends a clear message that OSHA will not tolerate retaliation against corporate whistleblowers," said Robert Kulick, OSHA's regional administrator in New York. "While OSHA is best known for ensuring the safety and health of employees, it is also the federal government's main whistleblower protection agency."
The order issued by OSHA awards the two employees reinstatement to their former positions, back pay, interest, compensatory damages, attorneys' fees, and other relief. Either party to the case can file an appeal to the Labor Department's Office of Administrative Law Judges, but such an appeal does not stay the preliminary reinstatement order.
For detailed information on employee whistleblower rights, including fact sheets, go to www.osha.gov/dep/oia/whistleblower/index.html.