February 21, 2018
Today, the Supreme Court held 9-0 that whistleblowers must report alleged misconduct to the SEC before they can sue under the Dodd-Frank Act’s anti-retaliation provision.
The Dodd-Frank Act prohibits retaliating against a “whistleblower” because that person reported misconduct to the SEC; initiated, testified in, or assisted with an SEC proceeding; or made certain required or protected disclosures. 15 U.S.C. § 78u-6(h)(1)(A). The Act defines a “whistleblower” as a person who reports misconduct to the SEC. 15 U.S.C. § 78u-6(a)(6). Paul Somers reported suspected misconduct to his employer but not to the SEC. After he was fired, he sued his former employer for retaliation under the Dodd-Frank Act.
Whether the Dodd-Frank Act’s anti-retaliation provision extends to individuals who have not reported alleged misconduct to the SEC.
Whistleblowers must report suspected misconduct to the SEC to be able to sue for retaliation under the Dodd-Frank Act.
“Courts are not at liberty to dispense with the condition—tell the SEC—Congress imposed.”
Justice Ginsburg, writing for the Court
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