On July 21, 2010, President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act into law. Within the Act is a new whistleblower provision providing that persons who voluntarily supply “original information” in Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) enforcement actions resulting in sanctions greater than $1,000,000 are entitled to recover 10 to 30 percent of the amount recovered by the SEC or CFTC.
The new law also provides added protection for the whistleblower. A lawyer can serve as an intermediary for the whistleblower with the government. By retaining a lawyer to assist with the matter, the identity of the whistleblower can remain anonymous from the company or individuals complained of, and even from the SEC or CTFC. Further, the law creates liability when an employer discharges, demotes, suspends, threatens, harasses, directly or directly, or in any other manner, discriminates against a whistleblower in the terms and conditions of employment because of any lawful act done by the whistleblower relating to the SEC or CFTC action.