Dodd-Frank Act Whistleblower Incentives and Protections

Congress passed the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act -- popularly known as the Dodd-Frank Act -- in July 2010 as part of a massive overhaul of the nation’s financial regulatory system. As part of a comprehensive program to ensure corporate accountability and compliance, this Act created important new incentive programs to reward and protect individuals who report violations of the laws that govern a wide range of activities in the financial markets and in the activities of U.S. companies doing business abroad.

What Whistleblower Incentives Are Provided by the Dodd-Frank Act?

The Dodd-Frank Act requires the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to reward whistleblowers who voluntarily provide original information regarding securities violations or bribes paid to foreign officials in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Section 922 of the law awards whistleblowers 10 to 30 percent of any monetary recovery of over $1 million that the SEC obtains from an offending party through enforcement actions. To learn more about the SEC's Whistleblower Program, read David Marshall's SEC Whistleblower Practice Guide. The Dodd-Frank Act also established a similar program for the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which rewards information for violations in the trading of a wide range of commodities and on the currencies exchanges. To learn more about the CFTC Whistleblower Program, read Lisa Banks' CFTC Whistleblower Practice Guide.

How Does the Dodd-Frank Act Protect Whistleblowers From Retaliation?

In addition to incentivizing whistleblowers to come forward through the establishment of the SEC and CFTC Whistleblower Reward Programs, the Dodd-Frank Act also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for reporting violations of laws regulating consumer finance, corporate and accounting fraud, and commodity and currency exchanges. Some of the protections provided by the Dodd-Frank Act augment protections already provided by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act by providing whistleblowers with a larger statute of limitations, the ability to file suit directly in federal court, and larger back pay awards. Although there is currently disagreement in the courts about whether the Dodd-Frank Act provides protections for whistleblowers who report securities violations internally, whistleblowers who report securities violations to the SEC are entitled to the broad protections available under the Act.

Why Hire KMB For Your Dodd-Frank Act Whistleblower Case?

The attorneys at Katz, Marshall & Banks, LLP have represented scores of employees who have blown the whistle on unlawful conduct in finance and accounting. We are nationally recognized as experts in the representation of whistleblowers, and regularly publish and lecture on whistleblower issues.

If you’re thinking about reporting violations of securities laws, the FCPA or consumer-finance laws, or if you already have and are facing retaliation, contact the experienced lawyers at Katz, Marshall & Banks. We can evaluate your case and, where appropriate, represent you in preparing a strong submission to the SEC or the CFTC that might entitle you to a whistleblower award. Your communications with us are confidential and without charge or further obligation.