For years, there has been an avenue to report hazardous working conditions and questionable conduct. The people who report these conditions and conducts are called whistleblowers, and until now, they had very little incentive to report these things. Employers would fire whistleblowers, harass them, or find other ways to discourage them from reporting misconduct.
That practice is no more, thanks to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the US Congress. In 2010, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. This Act is the most reformative act to pass for Wall Street and financial regulations since the Great Depression, which is good news for all will-be whistleblowers.
Under the new regulations, whistleblowers are able to keep their jobs. The Act specifically states that employer retaliation for whistleblowing is prohibited. The SEC is also now obligated to reward between 10 and 30 percent of any fines over $1 million if a sanction proves to be successful. With this $1 million threshold, whistleblowers are also eligible to gain additional percentages of any other monetary rewards or fines that are collected from actions brought by a successful SEC sanction.
The first company to embrace these new regulations is Labaton Sucharow. This law firm established a whole program to help make these new regulations easier to enforce. Leading this program is Jordan A. Thomas. Thomas was an Assistant Director and Assistant Chief Litigation Counsel in the Division of Enforcement for the SEC, and he also helped develop the Whistleblower Program at the SEC before he left.
As part of the program at Labaton Sucharow, various services are offered. For those who work abroad and don’t speak English, translation services are available. More information about the program is available by requesting in a number of ways. To have a case evaluated, one can contact the program by email, their website, or even by telephone.
Thanks to this new program, one of the largest rewards to go to a whistleblower has been awarded. This particular whistleblower (kept anonymous due to privacy laws) was awarded $17 million after offering up information to help a current SEC investigation.
The Dodd-Frank Act and the Whistleblower Program have one common goal: to make whistleblowing easier and more rewarding. It’s already paying off, and only a matter of time before more whistleblowers take to the new incentives and more misconduct is brought to light.
Learn more about SEC Whistleblower Attorneys
The use of social media platforms has become an almost universal pastime in the last few years, but understanding just how the comments made on any platform may be viewed is the subject of a growing movement known as Woke Twitter. The movement has become well known in South Africa after three Facebook and Twitter users were charged with criminal offenses for racist comments made Online; activists from the Woke Twitter movement have been credited with bringing the comments to the attention of police and social media owners. One of the areas the rise of the movement has challenged is that of the right to free speech, which has prompted many legal experts to enter the case and question how the South African constitution can be viewed.
Legal expert Brenda Wardle is well known throughout South Africa as one of the best known lawyers in the country who has worked in a number of different areas of law. Over the course of her career Wardle has written a number of detailed papers and books explaining specific areas of law, which have also come into use as industry standards.
The author of a semi autobiographical novel has now stated her view that the Twitter comments degraded the reputation of an entire race of people within South Africa; Brenda Wardle believes the right to human dignity has overcome any questions of free speech that may be brought up during the court cases the three face. Brenda Wardle believes the idea that an individual has the right to say what they like under free speech laws should not infringe on the rights of the majority they live alongside.
Social media has changed the way people live their lives in the 21st century, but the self policing by groups like Woke Twitter makes it more difficult for offensive material to make its way Online. The movement has been linked back the “Black Lives Matter” movement in the U.S., but has now spread around the world as politically aware social media users are looking for discriminatory comments from the comfort of their own homes. These social media users are completing an important act in making sure the Online world remains free of extremist attitudes.
Watch Brenda Wardle discuss the Pistorius Trial