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The Dodd-Frank Act is a Federal law that protects whistleblowers from adverse employment actions like termination or being fired from a job for making certain communications relating to securities law.
Whistleblowers under this law are generally people that provide information relating to a violation of the securities laws to the Securities Exchange Commission in a manner established by the Commission, by rule or regulation, of the Commission. This includes protecting 2 or more people that act jointly to provide the information. 15 U.S.C. 78u-6(a)(6).
Whistleblowers under this law have certain protections from retaliation by an employer because the whistleblower has lawfully acted to (i) provide information to the Commission in accordance with this section; (ii) has initiated, testified in, or assisted in any investigation or judicial or administrative action of the commission based upon or related to the information; or (iii) made disclosures that are required or protected under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (15 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.), The Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78a et seq.) and any other law, rule or regulation subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission. 15 U.S.C. 78u-6(h)(1)(A).
Violations of a whistleblower’s rights under the act are subject to claims to be brought in the U.S. District Courts. 15 U.S.C. 78u-6(h)(1)(B). Remedies, or relief, provided under the act includes reinstatement to the job, double any lost wages, with interest, and compensation for litigation expenses to include costs, expert witness fees and reasonable attorneys’ fees. 15 U.S.C. 78u-6(h)(1)(C).
Claims under the Dodd-Frank Act for Whistleblowing must be brought within the applicable statute of limitations. The law at 15 U.S.C. 78u-6(h)(B)(iii) provides:
(I) In general. An action under this subsection may not be brought--
(aa) more than 6 years after the date on which the violation of subparagraph (A) occurred; or
(bb) more than 3 years after the date when facts material to the right of action are known or reasonably should have been known by the employee alleging a violation of subparagraph (A).
(II) Required action within 10 years. Notwithstanding subclause (I), an action under this subsection may not in any circumstance be brought more than 10 years after the date on which the violation occurs.
Whether your rights were violated is a fact intensive inquiry. We review potential claims of employment discrimination on an individual consultation basis, where we discuss what occurred, the law and whether we are interested in representing you in pursuing a violation. To find out more, contact us.
Employers charged with violating an employee’s rights as a whistleblower dispute claims where an employee does not report the information to the SEC in an exact manner proscribed by Section 78u-6(h)(1)(A), even though the employee has made disclosures that are required or protected under Sarbanes-Oxley or the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Three U.S. District Courts that have considered this issue and a regulation of the Securities Exchange Commission all support a finding that someone who makes a disclosure required by or protected under Sargbanes-Oxley or the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 are entitled to protection against whistleblower retaliation. See Kramer v. Trans-Lux Corp., No. 3:11cv1424, D. Conn. 9/25/2012, Nollner v. S. Baptist Convention, Inc., 3:12cv40, 3:12cv43, M.D. Tenn. 4/3/2012, Egan v. TradingScreen, Inc., No. 10 Civ. 8202, S.D.N.Y. 5/4/2011, and SEC Rule 17 C.F.R. 240.21F2(b)(1).