Whistleblowers are now eligible for more employment protections than ever before—especially for those employees in the financial services industry.
The decision to blow the whistle on an employer is often one of the most difficult professional choices many whistleblowers will ever have to make. It strikes at the very heart of basic principles like loyalty, security, and being a team player. As a result, in the past, too often good men and women remained silent. They feared getting involved. They looked the other way.
With the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and its powerful anti-retaliation protections for employee-whistleblowers, this reality has been changed forever.
The law is clear: employers may not, directly or indirectly, discharge, demote, suspend, threaten, harass, or in any way discriminate against whistleblowers who: provide information to the SEC; initiate, testify in, or assist in a SEC investigation or related enforcement action; or make any disclosures required or protected by law. These protections exist regardless of whether or not the alleged securities violations are proven or leads to a successful enforcement action, as long as whistleblowers reasonably believe that the information provided to the SEC relates to a possible violation of the federal securities laws.
Now, if whistleblowers are subjected to retaliation in violation of the law, they have the right to immediately sue their employers in federal court, without having to exhaust administrative remedies before filing. The types of remedies available include reinstatement with equivalent seniority, double back pay with interest, attorney fees, and reimbursement of other litigation related expenses. Whistleblowers have six years from the retaliatory conduct or three years from when the employee knew or reasonably should have known of the retaliatory conduct to file a claim—if it is not more than 10 years after violation occurred.
It is important to know that these anti-retaliation protections do not go into effect until an employee reports the possible securities violation in accordance with the rules of the SEC Whistleblower Program. Contrary to popular belief, reporting internally does not satisfy this important procedural requirement.
Please note, whistleblowers may also be eligible for numerous other federal and state whistleblower protections.
To learn more about available employment protections or to request a case evaluation, potential whistleblowers may contact our Whistleblower Representation Team in any number of ways – by telephone, email, or electronic submission through this website. All initial legal consultations and case evaluations are free and confidential. Potential whistleblowers may also request anonymity. For international whistleblowers, language translation services are available upon request.