National Whistleblower Appreciation Day Honors Those Who Have Come Forward

July 30, 2014 marks the second National Whistleblower Appreciation Day. The occasion honors those who have come forward to blow the whistle on his or her company because a violation of the law has occurred. In the context of the securities industry, a whistleblower is usually an employee who has determined that some type of securities fraud or other illegal misconduct has occurred, usually by the employer. The individual then notifies the authorities or regulators about the wrongdoing.

Under state and federal laws whistleblowers have protections, including protection from retaliation by an employer. This means that a financial firm, bank, or other entity cannot fire, demote, suspend, harass, or discriminate against someone for coming forward to report a violation.

Unfortunately, these protections are not always honored, which is why you want to contact an experienced securities whistleblower lawyer who can apprise you of your legal rights and act to see that they are enforced. Violation of your whistleblower protections may entitle you to compensatory damages and other relief, such as double back pay, litigation expenses, and legal fees.

There are also protections provided under securities law, including those stipulated the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Under its Whistleblower Program, created by the U.S. Congress, individuals who voluntarily come forward after July 21, 2010 to report possible federal securities laws violations to the Securities and Exchange Commission may be entitled to 10% to 30% of monetary sanctions collected by the regulator, as well as from actions brought by other regulators and law enforcement authorities.

Information provided by the whistleblower must result in a successful SEC action leading to over $1 million in sanctions against the violating party. This information must be given to the SEC without having been requested first and it must be original. This means it has to come from the whistleblower’s own knowledge or analysis and not from sources that are available to the public.

When the U.S. Senate declared the first National Whistleblower Appreciation Day, it noted that as far back as in 1778, our nation’s forefathers called upon all persons serving the U.S. to take on the duty of alerting the authority of any fraud or misconduct discovered. You can read more about the history behind the tradition by reading The Whistleblower’s Handbook, which you can get for free if you make a $15 donation or more to the National Whistleblower Center. Your donation is tax deductible.

At Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD LLP, our securities lawyers are very much aware of the struggles and sacrifices made by our whistleblower clients. We represent whistleblowers in making their case and getting any reward(s) they are owed for their actions. Contact our SEC whistleblower lawyers today.

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