Section 922 of the Dodd-Frank Act makes it illegal for employers to retaliate against whistleblowers who report securities violations to the SEC under the reward program. The SEC has the authority to pursue a whistleblower retaliation case and punish companies for violating Dodd-Frank’s anti-retaliation provisions. Dodd-Frank also allows a whistleblower to seek relief directly against a company in federal court if the whistleblower has been retaliated against as a result of reporting securities violations to the SEC under the program.
With respect to a whistleblower filing a Dodd-Frank retaliation case against his or her company in federal court, some courts have found that employees must show that they had filed with the SEC prior to being retaliated against in order to sustain the case. In other words, in a case where an employee was terminated after having raised securities and compliance violations internally but not having yet filed with the SEC, some courts have held that the employee cannot maintain a private action under Dodd-Frank. The SEC, however, has taken the position that the Dodd-Frank’s whistleblower protections also apply to individuals who have reported securities violations internally at their companies. The United States Supreme Court will address this issue in Digital Realty Trust v. Somers. In that case, the company is arguing that Dodd-Frank’s anti-retaliation provisions do not apply to whistleblowers who report securities violations internally but fail to file with the SEC.
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If anyone has questions relating to the Dodd-Frank reward program, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am happy to provide a free consultation to anyone who has questions as to whether his or her information is reward eligible. For more information and details about the Dodd-Frank reward program, please click here. For more information and details about how the reward program applies to FCPA whistleblowers, please click here.