Let the whistle blow

Okay, so it may not exactly be Christmas morning, but it’s exciting nevertheless.  Well, maybe not so much exciting as it is relieving.  I’ll put it this way:  this is the Alka-Seltzer of HR news.

Here it is:  the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has (finally) adopted final whistleblower rules for the Dodd-Frank Act.

Employers have dreaded Dodd-Frank’s whistleblower incentives due to the high rewards offered for bringing cases to the SEC that move forward.

The SEC believes these final rules, though, will encourage whistleblowers to use their companies’ internal investigatory systems before reporting activities to the SEC.  How?  By increasing the reward if the whistleblower can show he or she voluntarily participated in an internal compliance or reporting system.

The final rules also make it so:

  • a whistleblower’s interference with internal compliance and reporting decrease the amount of reward
  • the reward is increased with any new information that is found due to “original information” received from the whistleblower
  • the “lookback period” – the length of time a whistleblower can report to the SEC after first reporting internally – is increased from 90 days to 120 days.

Even though the final rules promise more money to whistleblowers if they first report internally, Dodd-Frank still doesn’t require whistleblowers to do so.

To learn more about Dodd-Frank’s final whistleblower rules and how they affect your company, click here.

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