Asadi v. G.E. Energy (USA), LLC, (5th Cir. Jul. 17, 2013) versus Murray v. UBS Securities, LLC and UBS AG, (S.D.N.Y. May 21, 2013)—The Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program
The Dodd-Frank Act amended the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by creating protections and rewards for anyone who provides information that helps the SEC in enforcing the law. Section 922 directs the SEC to provide monetary awards, ranging from 10 percent to 30 percent of the monetary sanctions collected, to individuals who voluntarily provide original information that leads to SEC enforcement actions resulting in sanctions in excess of US$1 million. The Office of the Whistleblower Program ("OWP") was established to administer this new program, using regulations put in place by the SEC as of August 2011.
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—Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, Pub. L. No. 111-203 § 922, 124 Stat. 1376, 1841 (2010) (entitled "Securities Whistleblower Incentives and Protection."). The statute provides, in relevant part: "[n]o employer may discharge, demote, suspend, threaten, harass, directly or indirectly, or in any other manner discriminate against, a whistleblower in the terms and conditions of employment because of any lawful act done by the whistleblower—(i) in providing information to the Commission in accordance with this section; (ii) in initiating, testifying in, or assisting in any investigation or judicial or administrative action of the Commission based upon or related to such information; or (iii) in making disclosures that are required or protected under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (15 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.), this chapter, including section 78j-1(m) of this title, section 1513(e) of Title 18, and any other law, rule, or regulation subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission." 15 U.S.C. § 78u-6(h)(1)(A).
—SEC Securities Whistleblower Incentives and Protections, 76 Fed. Reg. 113, 34300, Release No. 34-64545 (Jun. 13, 2011). This is Final Regulation 21F, effective as of August 12, 2011, which defines terms under the whistleblower provisions, establishes procedures for applying for awards, lays out criteria for award determinations and, importantly, implements the anti-retaliation provisions of Dodd-Frank.
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