04 March 2018

US Corporate Law News: US Supreme Court narrows whistleblower definition under Dodd-Frank Act


On February 21, 2018, the United States Supreme Court narrowed the definition of “whistleblower” under The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, resolving a circuit split. In Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v. Somers, the Court ruled that, in order to receive protection under the Dodd-Frank Act's anti-retaliation provisions, a whistleblower must report concerns of securities law violations to the SEC, and that persons who only report such concerns internally within their organizations are not protected by such Dodd-Frank Act anti-retaliation provisions. The recent ruling applies only to the Dodd-Frank Act's whistleblower protections and not whistleblower protections under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, so that employees who only report concerns internally will still receive full whistleblower protection under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. For more information, see https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/17pdf/16-1276_b0nd.pdf.

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