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SCOTUS Clarifies Scope Of Whistleblower Protections Under Dodd-Frank

JDSupra – “On February 21, 2018, in the case of Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v. Somers, the United States Supreme Court unanimously decided that employees who raise internal complaints about possible violation of securities laws are not protected as whistleblowers under the Dodd-Frank Act. To obtain protection from retaliatory measures undertaken by their employers, employees must report such complaints to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The Dodd-Frank Act was enacted in 2010 to protect consumers from abusive practices by financial service providers. While the Act itself expressly limits the definition of a whistleblower to only those employees who make a report of suspected securities violations to the SEC, the regulations interpreting the Act’s anti-retaliation provisions extend its protections well beyond the statute. In reliance upon these regulations, several federal circuit courts throughout the nation adopted the expansive interpretation on the basis that it reflected Congressional intent. This created a split in the circuits as other courts strictly applied the Act’s narrow definition of what actions constitute protected whistleblower activity…”

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