The New Age of Whistle Blowing
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