Nielsen v. AECOM Technology Corp., No. 13-235 (2d Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff filed suit against AECOM and AME under the whistleblower retaliation provision created by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, 18 U.S.C. 1514A. The district court dismissed plaintiff's claim against AECOM and plaintiff appealed. The court concluded that an alleged whistleblowing employee's communications need not "definitively and specifically" relate to one of the listed categories of fraud or securities violations in section 1514A in order for that employee to claim protection under the statute; a complaint under section 1514A must, however, plausibly plead that plaintiff engaged in protected activity - that plaintiff reasonably believed the conduct he challenged constituted a violation of an enumerated provision; in this case, plaintiff did not plausibly allege that it was objectively reasonable for him to believe that there was such a violation here; and, therefore, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court.