Supreme Court to hear case on Dodd-Frank rule & whistleblowers

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed yesterday to consider whether insiders at companies who blow the whistle on their employers are shielded from retaliation if they only report alleged misconduct internally rather than to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The case that is reaching the high court is an appeal by Digital Realty Trust, Inc. of a lower court ruling in favor of Paul Somers, a former employee of the San Francisco-based company, who had complained internally about alleged misconduct by his supervisor, but who never reported the matter to the SEC. At issue is the SEC’s whistleblower protection rules put in place by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law.

The court will hear the case during the next term that starts in October.

The SEC rules prohibit corporate employers from retaliating in any way against whistleblowers who try to report allegations of securities law violations.

The rules further give the SEC the power to offer monetary awards to whistleblowers whose tips lead to successful enforcement actions.


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