SEC Whistleblower Protection
Earn Your SEC Whistleblower Reward Without Fear of Retaliation.
When you become an SEC whistleblower, you can do the right thing and earn a reward for helping the SEC bring corrupt companies to justice. The average SEC whistleblower award is around 5 million dollars, but reporting to the SEC without the assistance of a skilled attorney can be daunting and risky. In addition, if your role as a whistleblower becomes known to the company you are reporting, you may experience retaliation. An experienced attorney at FTI Law can offer protection as well as increase your chances of a successful claim.
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SEC Whistleblower Retaliation
When you report a legal violation to the SEC, the company you report may try to punish you. Whistleblowers are often fired or ostracized for doing the right thing and reporting their company’s misconduct. Some companies may try to disguise their retaliation as “restructuring” or other similar measures that are ultimately designed to take away a whistleblower’s job. However, the SEC has implemented rules for SEC whistleblower protection, and if these rules are violated, you may have options to seek redress for retaliation. For example, employers are barred from inflicting any form of discrimination against an employee who has reported to the SEC. This includes no discharging, demoting, suspending, or harassing whistleblowers.
FTI Law can help identify and protect against instances of constructive dismissal and other cases of SEC whistleblower retaliation. Schedule a free, anonymous consultation with us now.
Whistleblower Retaliation Is Prohibited Under SOX and Dodd-Frank
Both Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) and the Dodd-Frank Act (Dodd-Frank) make it illegal for most U.S. companies to retaliate against whistleblowers who report SEC violations. In certain circumstances, whistleblowers can even be protected for reporting their concerns to their supervisors where they work. However, SOX and Dodd-Frank have strict rules that only protect whistleblowers who take the right steps when reporting a:
SOX protects employees who report violations to either their company’s compliance programs or to the federal government. Retaliation can take many forms, including termination, demotion, harassment, or other adverse actions, and all of these are prohibited by SOX if they are related to an employee making a protected disclosure.
Whistleblowers who are subjected to retaliation for reporting Securities Laws violations have the right to sue their employer under SOX. The whistleblower must file a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) within 180 days of the alleged retaliation. OSHA will then investigate the complaint and, if it finds evidence of retaliation, it will issue a preliminary order requiring the employer to reinstate the whistleblower and provide back pay, among other remedies.
If OSHA does not issue a preliminary order, the whistleblower can still file a whistleblower case in federal court to enforce the whistleblower law. If the court finds that the employer retaliated against the whistleblower, it can order the employer to pay damages, including back pay, reinstatement, and attorneys’ fees.
Similarly, the Dodd-Frank Act has whistleblower provisions that protect whistleblowers who work for publicly traded companies who report securities fraud. However, Dodd-Frank does not protect whistleblowers who only report violations within their own company. To obtain legal protection from retaliation under the Dodd-Frank Act, a whistleblower must make a protected disclosure to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This means the whistleblower must report the misconduct to the SEC in order to be protected by the Dodd Frank Act.
Protection For Whistleblowers Outside the United States
Unfortunately, the anti-retaliation protections under both SOX and Dodd-Frank generally do not apply to international whistleblowers who work and reside outside the United States. As a general rule, if a whistleblower resides outside of the U.S. they are unable to bring a whistleblower case in the U.S. unless the retaliation directly involved U.S. entities, individuals or misconduct. However, whistleblowers from outside the U.S. can still claim whistleblower rewards.
Representing Whistleblowers In Every Sense
FTI Law can advise you on the best way to obtain SEC whistleblower protection. Not only does working with an attorney help mitigate potential SEC whistleblower retaliation, but FTI Law can heighten your chances of making a successful whistleblower submission. Only the first person to report a piece of information is eligible for a reward, so you need to act fast. Talk with an attorney today:
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