US Department of Labor orders ammo manufacturer to reinstate employee who voiced concerns about stock transactions, pay $597K in damages, back wages, costs
SCOTTSDALE, AZ – The U.S. Department of Labor has ordered a Scottsdale, 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 with the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration 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 Ammo Inc. to reinstate the employee preliminarily to their previous position. They were also ordered to 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 D. Wulff in San Francisco. “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.
Founded in 2016, Ammo Inc. is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona. The company designs and manufactures products for use by law enforcement and the military, and in sport shooting and self-defense. Its subsidiaries include GunBroker.com, Enlight Group II LLC, SpeedLight Group I LLC, Ammo Technologies Inc., and SW Kenetics Inc.
OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley Act and 24 other statutes protecting employees who report violations of various airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, motor vehicle safety, healthcare reform, nuclear, pipeline, public transportation agency, railroad, maritime, securities, tax, antitrust, and anti-money laundering laws and for engaging in other related protected activities. For more information on whistleblower protections, visit OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Programs webpage.
Editor’s note: The U.S. Department of Labor does not release the names of employees involved in whistleblower complaints