SEC Whistleblower Guidance
When you’re preparing to blow the whistle on a securities law violation you’ve been made aware of, you probably have questions about what you should expect both from the SEC and your employer. Read on for SEC whistleblower guidance on remaining anonymous, retaliation in the workplace, and what criteria to meet in order to receive a reward.
All About Anonymity
Although reporting potential violations is the right thing to do and in the corporation’s and investors’ best interest, it can be intimidating to be the one to come forward. That’s why the SEC allows whistleblowers to remain anonymous if they wish to provide a tip.
If you secure a qualified SEC whistleblower attorney, you can have your tip submitted by your lawyer and be interviewed by the commission via telephone to protect your identity. The information you provide may allow you to claim a reward—only then will we need to disclose your identity to the SEC so you can collect.
Protection from Retaliation
The Sarbanes-Oxley and the Dodd-Frank acts both contain provisions that restrict employers from retaliating against their employees who become whistleblowers. But we aren’t naive enough to believe that it never happens simply because it’s illegal.
As a whistleblower who has been retaliated against by being suspended, terminated, demoted, defamed, or harassed, you have the right to hold your employer accountable for its behavior.
If your SEC whistleblower lawyer submits a complaint with the Department of Labor, your employer can be compelled to reinstate you in your previous position, with seniority and back pay, as well as be responsible for paying you special damages meant to rectify damage to your professional reputation and mental health.
Criteria for Receiving a Reward
To remain eligible for an award, you must meet certain criteria. To begin, your tip must be original. This means you have to be the first to report this information, and it must have come to your attention through a non-public source. Providing the SEC with transaction details, internal documents, and the names of individual violators can help prove your information is original.
Your tip must also be voluntary. Once the SEC starts an investigation, it’s only a matter of time before you are questioned if you work for the corporation in question. If the commission has already begun to investigate, you’ll have to compete with other would-be whistleblowers and come forward before you’re asked questions.
Even if your tip is both original and voluntary, you can only collect a reward if the SEC is able to take enforceable action against the violating company, and the imposed sanctions need to recover a minimum of $1,000,000. You could qualify for between 10 and 30 percent of the recovered funds if your information was of significant value.
Speak with an SEC Whistleblower Lawyer
If you have additional questions about becoming an SEC whistleblower or would like in-depth SEC whistleblower guidance, schedule a free consultation with Meissner Associates. You can do this by filling out the form below or giving us a call at 1-866-764-3100.