A whistleblowing employee is not protected from retaliation under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act if a reasonable person, in his position and with his same training and experience, would not have believed there was a securities violation to report, the Eighth Circuit ruled this week. The ruling makes the Eighth Circuit the fourth federal appellate court to endorse the so-called Sylvester standard, first adopted by the Department of Labor's Administrative Review Board in 2012.
The ruling came as the Eighth Circuit rejected the claims of Vincent Beacom, a former vice president of sales at Oracle's Retail Global Business Unit. Beacom had complained about a change in revenue projection procedures which he felt mislead Oracle's shareholders. RGBU's revenues made up less than one fifth of one percent of Oracle's revenue at the time.