top of page

ExxonMobil will pay $800K to reinstated employees following an OSHA whistleblower decision.

ExxonMobil, the world's largest oil and gas company, was ordered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to pay back wages, interest, and compensatory damages totalling more than $800,000 and reinstate two previously terminated employees.

Following a federal whistleblower probe into ExxonMobil's behavior, OSHA revealed its decision on Friday. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act was broken by the corporation, according to the investigation (SOX).

According to OSHA, ExxonMobil dismissed two computing scientists who voiced objections to the company's decision to use higher drilling speed estimates in 2019 SEC filings. Their dismissal came as a result of a Wall Street Journal article from September 2020 that claimed ExxonMobil exaggerated its oil and gas output projections in the Texas Permian Basin.

Although neither of the two computation scientists were mentioned in the article, ExxonMobil suspected them; the paper referenced current and former personnel as sources.

"OSHA learned that ExxonMobil knew that one of the scientists was a relative of a source quoted in the Wall Street Journal article and had access to the leaked information," according to the agency.  The dismissal of one scientist was due to improper handling of confidential corporate information, while the dismissal of the other was due to "having a ‘negative attitude,’ looking for other jobs, and losing the confidence of company management."

According to OFAC, the scientists' conduct would have been covered by SOX even if they had provided material to the media or leaked it to them.

"ExxonMobil’s actions are unacceptable. The integrity of the U.S. financial system relies on companies to report their financial condition and assets accurately,"according to Doug Parker, Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health.  "Whistleblower protection is integral to ensuring that financial disclosure laws work. As was the case in this instance, OSHA will aggressively protect the rights of employees who raise concerns related to financial improprieties or potential fraud against shareholders."

ExxonMobil could not be reached for comment.


17 views0 comments
bottom of page