Key Rules for Filing a Whistleblower Claim with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC)
Whistleblowing Under the SEC Office of the Whistleblower
Statutes and Regulations
Securities Exchange Act Statutes and Regulations
- Securities Whistleblower Incentives and Protection 15 U.S.C Section 78-u-6 Law authorizing Payment of rewards (minimum 10% and maximum 30% for original information resulting in a successful enforcement action)
- 15 U.S.C. 78u-6(h) Dodd-Frank Anti-Retaliation provisions for Securities Trading Industry Whistleblowers.
- 17 C.F.R. part 240, 241, and 249.
- SEC Comments Accompanying Final Whistleblower Rule
- The SEC’s Rulemaking for the Dodd-Frank whistleblower protections as of June 13, 2011.
- Dodd-Frank Act, Public Law No.111-203, 124 Statutes at Large 1376 (July 21, 2010).
Commodity Exchange Statutes and Regulations
- 7 U.S.C. 26.
- 17 C.F.R. 165.
- 7 U.S.C. § 26 (h) (Dodd-Frank Anti-Retaliation provisions for Commodities Trading Industry Whistleblowers).
- 76 Federal Register 53172
- U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, “The Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010,” Senate Report No. 111-176, 111th Cong. 2nd Session (April 30, 2010) (the final Senate report containing the legislative history/analysis of the Dodd-Frank Act).
Digital Realty v. Somers
- Supreme Court opinion: Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v. Somers (No. 16-1276);
- Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v. Somers (No. 16-1276) – oral argument transcript;
- Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v. Somers (No. 16-1276) – oral argument audio;
- Somers v. Digital Realty Trust (9th Cir. 2015) SEC’s Amicus brief;
- Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v. Somers (No. 16-1276) National Whistleblower Center Amicus brief;
- Decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed by the Supreme Court
- Brief of Senator Charles Grassley
- Brief of Paul Somers
- Brief of Chamber of Commerce
- Brief of Digital Realty
- Digital Realty’s Victory Is A Loss For Corporate Compliance
- NWC Director Explains Why Supreme Court Decision is Disastrous
- Supreme Court Rejects Protecting Internal Whistleblowers
- Whistleblower Protections Are At Risk At The High Court
- Digital Realty Trust V. Somers May Kill Corporate Compliance
- Clarifying Anti-Retaliation Protections Under Dodd-Frank
Updates and Blog Posts
- The Whistleblower Blog
- SEC Protects Access to Whistleblower Rewards
- Supreme Court Decision Expands Reach of Whistleblower Rewards for Insider Trading
- SEC Announces Record Year Standing Up for Whistleblowers
- SEC Enforcement Director Speaks on The Impact of the Whistleblower Program
- CFTC Makes Fourth Whistleblower Award
- SEC Says Employees Protected For Internal Whistleblowing
- KBR Sanctioned After SEC Investigation Into Illegal Non-Disclosures Agreements
- SEC Chair Praises Whistleblower Reward Program as “Enormously Successful”
- SEC Chair Praises Agency’s Whistleblower Program
- FINRA Reminds Employers of Anti-gag Regulations
The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Annual Reports on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Protection Program
- Annual Report 2011
- Annual Report 2012
- Annual Report 2013
- Annual Report 2014
- Annual Report 2015
- Annual Report 2016
- Annual Report 2017
- Annual Report 2018
The table below shows the top ten awards paid by the Commission since the reward laws were approved.
- SEC Claim Award
- CFTC Notices of Covered Actions
- Securities and Exchange Commission, Whistleblower Award Orders.
In response to the financial crisis of 2008 Congress enacted the Dodd-Frank Act.
- Assessment of the SEC’s Bounty Program, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Inspector General, March 29, 2010 (Prior to Dodd-Frank).
- 2015 Annual Report to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program
- 2016 Annual Report to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program
- Senate Report submitted by Senator Dodd, from the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, together with minority views.
- Commission Amicus / Friend of the Court Briefs
Provisions of Dodd-Frank directly related to Whistleblower Protection
- Section 922 21F(a) qui tam for securities fraud: new qui tam rewards and incentives for whistleblowers who blow the whistle on securities violations 21F sub (H)(1) anti-retaliation provision for employees who file qui tam claims under securities law (H)(1)(A)(iii) anti-retaliation for employees who make disclosures under SOX, any violation of SEC art or who make protected disclosures under obstruction of justice act Claims filed in federal court – employees entitled to double back pay (B) statistical ratings organizations (Moody’s & Standard & Poor’s) now protected under SOX anti-retaliation provisions (C) SOX whistleblower protection act enhanced and amended to increase the statute of limitations, guarantee jury trials, and prohibit mandatory arbitration agreements.
- Section 923 – Sarbanes-Oxley Act anti-retaliation Provisions.
- Section 924 – SEC regulations to establish special whistleblower office and impose regulations enforcing whistleblower rules.
- Section 929A – SOX anti-retaliation law is clarified to ensure subsidiaries of publicly traded companies are fully protected under the whistleblower protection law.
- Section 1057 – New whistleblower protection for employees who make disclosures to the newly created consumer protection board.
- Section 1079(c) – Amends the False Claims Act anti-retaliation law to provide for universal national 3 year statute of limitations to file wrongful discharge claims under the False Claims Act.
The SEC prohibits Non-Disclosure Agreements which prevent Whistleblowers from reporting to the Government
Rewards for Compliance Officials
- Kohn, The SEC’s Final Whistleblower Rules & Their Impact on Internal Compliance (West Law Publishing, Oct. 2011).
- 17 C.F.R. part 240
The SEC Whistleblower Rewards Rulemaking
Stephen M. Kohn, Michael D. Kohn acting pro bono on behalf of the National Whistleblowers Center Meeting Notes with the SEC Commissioners
- January 25, 2011 Meeting with Division of Enforcement
- February 10, 2011 Meeting with Commissioner Aguilar
- February 11, 2011 Meeting with Commissioner Paredes
- February 15, 2011 Meeting with Commissioner Walter
- March 11, 2011 Meeting with Commissioner Casey
- March 28, 2011 Meeting with Chairman Schapiro
SEC Ruling Proceedings
- Digital Realty Trust, Inc v. Somers – The Supreme Court opinion
- Chamber of Commerce Amicus Curiae
- Comments on Proposed Rules for Implementing the Whistleblower Provisions of Section 21F of the Securities Act of 1934
- Comment on Proposed Rule – Comments by the U.S. Chambers of Commerce
- Comments on Dodd-Frank Act Title IX, Whistleblower Award Program
Rulemaking Comments by Stephen M. Kohn
These fully rebutted the Chamber of Commerce’s assault on the Dodd-Frank and were heavily relied upon by the Commissioners for the final SEC Whistleblower Rules.
- NWC Report to the SEC: “Impact of Qui Tam Laws on Internal Compliance”
- November 1, 2010 – Letter to SEC opposing corporate lobby position, including comments from Baker Donelson and Arent Fox.
- November 22, 2010 – Letter to Chairman Schapiro explaining that Proposed Rules violate Congressional intent.
- December 17, 2010 – Formal rulemaking letter with report entitled “Impact of Qui Tam Rules on Internal Compliance”.
- December 18, 2010 – Updated “Impact of Qui Tam Rules on Internal Compliance” with corrected links.
- January 25, 2011 – Materials for NWC’s meeting with SEC Division of Enforcement: Letter to Chairman Schapiro appling Chevron to Proposed Rules, marked-up version of Proposed Rules, updated NWC reported “Impact of Qui TamRules on Internal Compliance”, 10 C.F.R. 50.7 marked-up, Federal Acquisition Regulations, and 48 C.F.R. 52.203-13 marked-up.
- February 10, 2011 – Letter to Commissioners explaining the proposed rules’ impact on the ability of US to enforce the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
- March 7, 2011 – Letter to Chairman Schapiro responding to Chamber of Commerce’s incorrect attacks of the NWC’s December 17, 2010 report.
- March 17, 2011 – Letter to SEC with provision-by-provision analysis of proposed rules with suggested revisions and justifications for revisions.
- May 16, 2011 – Letter to Chairman Schapiro and Gensler regarding the impact of the first reported decision under the Dodd-Frank Act on the rulemaking process.
Comments by Commissioners introducing Final Rules
- Comments by Chairman Mary L. Schapiro
- Comments by Commissioner Elisse B. Walter
- Comments by Commissioner Troy A. Paredes
- Comments by Commissioner Luis A. Aguilar
Comments by the Corporate Lobby
- Baker Donelson letter – Representing corporate lobby position
- Arent Fox Letter – Representing corporate lobby position
- The SEC Office of the Whistleblower
- Securities and Exchange Commission Notices of Pending Whistleblower Rewards
- Securities and Exchange Commission Decisions on Whistleblower Reward Claims
- The law Librarian’s Society of Washington, DC’s summary of the legislative history, complete with links, reports and summaries
- CFTC Press Releases
CNBC’s segment on whistleblower reward laws, “Bounty Hunters”
David Colapinto explains how, years after Dodd-Frank, financial reform is still under attack.