April 01, 2020

Are Whistleblowers Protected?

It’s a fact that securities fraud happens all the time. All across the United States, investors are put at risk by conflicts of interest, fraud schemes, inadequate corporate disclosures, and more.

Protecting the stability of the financial markets and the wellbeing of investors is the responsibility of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), but they’re a relatively small federal agency that lacks the resources to combat securities fraud on their own.

The SEC depends on whistleblowers to provide tips that expose fraud and other misconduct, and they offer large financial awards as an incentive. Becoming a whistleblower puts a lot at risk, however, which is why many people with sensitive information wonder, “Are whistleblowers protected?”

Federal Protections for Whistleblowers

The short answer is “yes!” Under both the Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank Acts, SEC whistleblowers enjoy a wide range of legal protections.

If you submit a whistleblower tip to the SEC that results in an investigation and that investigation confirms the fraud or misconduct, then the target of the SEC investigation is legally prohibited from retaliating against you.

These legal protections prevent the target of the investigation from retaliating against you in any of the following ways:

  • Firing or demotion
  • Threats and harassment
  • Discrimination
  • Publicly outing your identity
  • Any other adverse employment actions

Retaliation Settlements

If you are retaliated against by the target of the SEC investigation, you have a right to take your case to court according to the protections afforded to SEC whistleblowers.

Under Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes Oxley, you could be eligible to recover the following damages:

  • Reinstatement to your position
  • Double back-pay
  • Cost of litigating the retaliation
  • Reasonable attorney fees
  • Special damages for any emotional distress, public defamation, or personal humiliation caused by the retaliation

We Protect Our Whistleblower Clients

Meissner Associates makes a point of protecting clients who retain us for their SEC whistleblower tip submission. As part of our retention agreement, we will defend you against any retaliation action filed against you in New York State by the target of the SEC investigation when the retaliatory action arises from and relates to your SEC submission. This comes at no additional charge.

Whistleblower Attorneys with Experience

If you want to know more about how whistleblowers are protected and how this information might apply to your tip submission, contact Meissner Associates. We know SEC whistleblower law, and we can help you get the most from your reward and your legal protections.

Set up a free, confidential tip evaluation by completing the form below or by calling 1-866-764-3100.