WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court is looking back at the collapse of energy giant Enron to determine who is protected from retaliation after blowing the whistle on a company’s misdeeds.
The justices heard arguments Tuesday in an appeal brought by two former employees of companies that run the Fidelity family of mutual funds. The workers claimed they faced retaliation after they reported allegations of fraud affecting Fidelity funds.
They argue that a provision of the Sarbanes Oxley Act, passed in 2002 in response to the Enron scandal, protects their whistleblower activity.
But the court spent most of an hour Tuesday discussing Enron’s bankruptcy in 2001 amid startling revelations that its top executives manipulated the company’s earnings and stock price by lying to employees and investors about Enron’s financial health.
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