Do You Need an SEC Whistleblower Lawyer?

Do You Need an SEC Whistleblower Lawyer?
  • Are you a whistleblower who has uncovered securities fraud?

  • Have you been punished — or fired — for opposing unethical accounting practices at a public company?
  • You risked your career to protect shareholders. Who will protect you?

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) offers protection and monetary rewards for employees who report fraud at publicly traded companies. Passed in response to the 2008 economic crash, the Dodd-Frank Act encourages whistleblowers to expose financial wrongdoing before it harms many people.

If you have reported — or are considering reporting — securities fraud at your company, the Dodd-Frank Act could reward you for doing the right thing. It also could help to save your career by providing you with legal protection against workplace retaliation by the fraudsters.

The whistleblower attorneys at The Employment Law Group® law firm have deep experience helping employees in Dodd-Frank Act cases — both at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for reward claims, and in federal court seeking protection and financial damages for whistleblowers. Indeed, our cases have been on the cutting edge of this law ever since its passage.

Representing an employee before a U.S. district court, for instance, our attorneys obtained one of the first judicial decisions to establish a broad definition of who gets whistleblower protection under the Dodd-Frank Act. In another case, we obtained a decision that created a favorable standard for whistleblowers when a court agreed it should defer to decisions made by the Department of Labor, which enforces one of the law’s anti-retaliation provisions.

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Important statutes in this area of law:

Notable TELG cases in this area of law:

  • Taylor v. Fannie Mae

    A federal judge laid down a standard favorable for employees by giving deference to decisions made at the Department of Labor’s Administrative Review Board.


  • Kramer v. Trans Lux, Inc.

    A federal judge in Connecticut determined that a plaintiff need not actually make disclosure to the SEC to be a whistleblower



The Dodd-Frank Act allows whistleblowers to claim a reward of 10 to 30 percent of the amount above $1 million that the SEC recovers as a result of a tip. Rewards so far have reached up to $30 million. If you're the victim of retaliation for blowing the whistle on fraud, you may be entitled to reinstatement in your job, lost wages or benefits, attorney fees, and other litigation expenses.

As with all legal claims, deadlines are crucial. The Dodd-Frank Act has a six-year statute of limitations, which is fairly generous. Waiting to bring a retaliation case, however, may jeopardize your protection under related laws, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which has a much shorter deadline. Failing to act promptly also could hurt your chances of getting a reward from the SEC's whistleblower program.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is a Dodd-Frank whistleblower reward?

The reward ranges from 10 to 30 percent of the amount recovered by the SEC beyond $1 million. The SEC uses the following factors to determine the percentage:

  • The significance of the information provided by the whistleblower
  • The degree of assistance provided by the whistleblower
  • The interest of the SEC in deterring violations of securities laws
  • Other factors that the SEC may establish by rule or regulation

To be eligible for a Dodd-Frank reward, must a whistleblower be employed by the company that commits the securities fraud?

No. SEC whistleblowers certainly could work for the company in question — but they also might be outside bookkeepers, consultants, or contractors for that company. Customers, even. Anyone who’s in a position to understand that fraud is occurring.

What forms of retaliation against whistleblowers are prohibited?

The Dodd-Frank Act prohibits a broad range of adverse employment actions, including:

What compensation can a prevailing employee recover?

A prevailing employee can:

  • Be reinstated to their former position
  • Recover double the wages owed to the employee in the form of back pay with interest
  • Recover attorney fees and litigation costs