On March 5th, the Second Circuit clarified the pleading and burdens of proof applicable to Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower suits. First, plaintiff must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he engaged in a protected activity; the employer knew of the protected activity; the employee suffered an unfavorable personnel action; and the protected activity was a contributing factor in the unfavorable action. Once the employee has established those elements, the employer may rebut this prima facie case with clear and convincing evidence that it would have taken the same adverse action in the absence of any protected activity. Bechtel v. Administrative Review Board.