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CFTC Adopts Favorable Rules for Whistleblower Reward Program

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Following the lead of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) adopted finalized rules for its new Whistleblower Reward Program that heavily favor whistleblowers.  Importantly, the rules do not require whistleblowers to first report wrongdoing to their employer; instead whistleblowers may report wrongdoing directly to the CFTC.

The CFTC is an independent agency that regulates commodity futures and option markets in the United States and protects market participants against fraud, manipulation, and abusive trading practices.

Congress and the President established the new SEC and CFTC Whistleblower Programs when they enacted the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Pub.L. 111-203) on July 21, 2010.  Under the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC and CFTC are both required to reward whistleblowers who provide original information to the government with between 10% and 30% of the amount recovered by the government.  To learn more about the CFTC Whistleblower Reward Program, click here.

The Dodd-Frank Act also prohibits employers from retaliating against whistleblowers.  Those whistleblowers who are retaliated against may sue their employer to:

  • Be reinstated to their former position;
  • Recover the wages in the form of back pay with interest;
  • Recover compensatory damages; and
  • Recover attorney fees and litigation costs.

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