Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Monday, July 10, 2006

1st Test of SOX Preliminary Reinstatement Saga Continues


The ongoing saga of David Welch, who more than 2 years ago was "reinstated" under Sarbanes Oxley, continues with his filing of a motion in federal district court to force his former employer Cardinal Bankshares to take him back as CFO. A magazine with an interetest in the subject, CFO.com, has the latest development, Feds Back Sarbox Whistle-blower.

Last Thursday, Welch accepted the challenge from Cardinal Bankshares and filed a motion in district court to compel his reinstatement and the DOL has intervened to support that effort. (For those wanting some context, see a time line of the fight beginning with Welch's termination in October, 2002 at Latest Step in First SOX Reinstatement Case).

Although this is not the first time this matter has been addressed by the federal courts, it appears that there may not be procedural outs that have been used to avoid ruling on the merits, so stay tuned, perhaps, for a substantive decision on reinstatement rights under Sarbanes-Oxley. It is important to remember that this procedural battle is being fought before there is a final ruling that Cardinal Bankshares has violated the whistleblower provisions of SOX. And that of course is what bothers the employer but what Welch and the DOL argue is possible.


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