The Dodd-Frank Act
Expanding on the whistleblowing provisions that began in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Dodd-Frank Act offers whistleblowers additional anti-retaliation tools, offering some new protections. The most significant of these is that, under Dodd-Frank, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) itself can bring actions against companies that retaliate against whistleblowers, while whistleblowers can now file suit in federal court against retaliating employees—without having to first file a complaint with the Department of Labor (as is required under Sarbanes-Oxley).
Dodd-Frank’s protections are broader than those available under Sarbanes-Oxley. Those who prevail under Dodd-Frank are eligible for reinstatement to their prior position (if demoted or terminate), double back pay, litigation costs, expert witness fees, and attorneys’ fees. And plaintiffs have a much longer time period for filing a lawsuit before the Statute of Limitations has run. Our employment litigators can represent you and get you the relief you deserve.
Importantly, the Supreme Court has held that, and the SEC subsequently amended its rules so that, in order to sue for an award under Dodd-Frank, the retaliation must have occurred after the whistleblower reported the issue to the SEC. If the retaliation occurred after an internal complaint, but before a report to the SEC was made, that does not qualify for related damages under the statute. (This doesn’t mean that you are without recourse if you suffer retaliation after internal complaints; you could still get damages under Sarbanes.)
Dodd-Frank protects whistleblowers who reported wrongdoing to the SEC, even if the report ultimately did not result in an adverse finding against the company. Instead, Dodd-Frank only requires that you had a reasonable belief that there was a possible violation. Basically, what that means is that, even if you were wrong about your claim, as long as your report was made in good faith, you should be protected from retaliation.
Given that Dodd-Frank is comparatively new legislation, there are still some unknowns about the law’s full ramifications. For example, it is currently unclear if Dodd-Frank would apply in the context of international activity or international whistleblowing.
What is known already, though, is that even if you make a report anonymously, that doesn’t mean that you have to be alone.
Whether you’re still considering making a report or you’ve already filed a report and are dealing with retaliation, contact the securities whistleblower attorneys at the Law Firm of David R. Chase and the Silver Law Group, experts at the relevant law. We can represent you in SEC whistleblower claims, employment disputes in federal court, or in FINRA arbitration.
As Wall Street attorneys with many years of experience, we know how to help you be rewarded, not penalized, for doing the right thing. For a free, confidential consultation, contact us through our website or call us today at (800)975-4345.