Ammo Manufacturer to Pay $597k to Whistleblower
The U.S. Department of Labor has ordered an Arizona-based ammunition manufacturer to pay compensatory damages, back wages and associated costs to an employee forced from its board of directors after reporting potentially illegal stock transactions.
Investigators found Ammo Inc. removed the employee from the board of directors after they voiced concerns that the transactions violated U.S. Security and Exchange Commission regulations. After being removed from the board, the employee resigned.
Following a whistleblower investigation, OSHA ordered the company to reinstate the employee and pay the employee $485,000 in compensatory damages, more than $61,000 in back wages and $51,000 in attorney’s fees. The company appealed the order to the department’s Office of Administrative Law Judges.
“OSHA enforces federal laws that protect employees who report possible wrongdoing from fear of retaliation and punishment,” explained OSHA Regional Administrator James Wulff. “The Sarbanes-Oxley Act ensures that employees can exercise their rights freely to report financial and shareholder concerns about publicly traded companies.”
In addition to the monetary penalties, Ammo must post a notice informing their employees of worker protection rights under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.