SEC Whistleblower Policy
When a would-be whistleblower has a tip about a potential investment scheme or other securities violation and is interested in reporting the information to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), he or she is protected from retaliation by employers.
The whistleblower must meet specific criteria to qualify for an award under the SEC whistleblower program guidelines. If you are considering coming forward with a tip that could put a stop to fraud within your company or elsewhere, read on to learn about the SEC’s whistleblower policy.
Protection from Retaliation
Probably the most common reason whistleblowers refrain from reporting tips to their internal compliance programs and the SEC is the fear of being retaliated against by an employer.
The Dodd-Frank Act states very clearly that employers are forbidden from retaliating against SEC whistleblowers. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act states that employees who report to an internal compliance program or other person of authority are protected.
Should your employer retaliate anyway, the SEC may investigate and impose sanctions and fines against the company in question. Then, you will have the opportunity to file a lawsuit and, if successful, recover damages that may include retroactive lost wages, money for defamation of your professional reputation, and even reinstatement to your former position.
Requirements for Winning a Reward
If you are hoping to receive a reward for your tip to the SEC, your tip will need to meet a specific set of criteria. To start, your tip must be both voluntary and original.
This means that you have to come forward with your information before the SEC asks you questions about the violation, and you need to have come into the information through a source that was not made public. Additionally, you have to be the first whistleblower to come forward with the information you have.
None of that will make a difference, however, if the SEC is not able to take enforceable action against the violating corporation and recover monetary sanctions that exceed $1,000,000. If all of the above qualifications are met, you could be entitled to between 10 and 30 percent of the sanctions the SEC is able to recover.
Consult with an SEC Whistleblower Lawyer
To discuss the details of the information you are ready to report to the SEC, speak with a qualified SEC whistleblower lawyer at Meissner Associates at your earliest convenience. To schedule your free consultation, simply fill out the secure contact form below or give our office a call at 1-866-764-3100.