Whistleblower Protection Laws

Whistleblower protection has become an area of concern for government regulators around the world. Whistleblowers were responsible for exposing instances of major corporate fraud and have also become the targets of retaliation by businesses for doing so.

Whistleblower protection laws have therefore gained increasing regulatory strength since the financial crisis of 2007-08. In the US, the SEC unveiled its whistleblower protection program in 2011. In the UK, the Public Interest Disclosure Act of 1998 provides legal protection for whistleblowers.

SEC Whistleblower Program

The SEC’s whistleblower program aims at strengthening the agency’s ability to protect investors and investigate issues related to securities regulatory violations. The program is designed to result in:

  • Better tips The agency claims that it has seen an increase in the quality of tips received since the creation of the program
  • Timely tips Tips have to be timely and whistleblowers will receive incentives for giving the agency timely information
  • Maximizing outside resources The SEC has fewer than 4,000 employees to regulate more than 35,000 entities, making enforcement difficult. The robust whistleblower program will make it easier for the agency to find and deter wrongdoing at firms
  • Protection against retaliation Employees who turn whistleblowers will be provided with tools to protect themselves against employers who retaliate
  • Improving internal compliance The SEC believes that providing significant incentives to employees who report any wrongdoing to their company’s internal compliance department before approaching the agency will result in stronger internal, effective compliance programs.

The SEC has outlined its whistleblower program on a dedicated website,, which includes information on eligibility requirements, directions on how to submit a tip or complaint, instructions on how to apply for an award, and answers to frequently asked questions.

SEC Whistleblower Final Rule

The SEC formulated its final rule for whistleblowers as required by the Dodd-Frank Act in May. The rule gives the definition of a whistleblower and requirements in order to be eligible for an award.

The rule defines a whistleblower as a person who provides information to the SEC relating to a possible violation of the securities laws that has occurred, is ongoing or is about to occur.

For a better understanding of the SEC Whistleblower Program and Final Rule, read more>>

ComplianceOnline Training on Whistleblower Laws

Constructing an Effective “Whistleblower” System
This webinar will explore how you can enhance effectiveness of current Whistleblower systems in light of the new Dodd-Frank Act and the preceding Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

The SEC’s New Whistleblower Rules: Implications for your Company’s Compliance and Fraud Program
This webinar on SEC's revised Whistleblower Rules will outline key changes and focus on the effects these new rules will have on your organization's internal compliance and fraud investigations.