Phillips & Associates

Dodd-Frank Act

Knowledgeable Whistleblower Lawyers Representing Clients in the Greater New York City Area

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) was passed in 2010 in response to the financial crisis of 2008. It is an enormous piece of financial reform legislation. Among other things, the Dodd-Frank Act provides whistleblower protection to employees in New York. At Phillips & Associates, our New York City whistleblower attorneys may be able to represent you in connection with blowing the whistle on your employer, including pursuing any damages that you may be entitled to recover for retaliation.

Awards Under the Dodd-Frank Act

Under Section 922 of the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC is supposed to pay awards to eligible whistleblowers who, of their own volition, give the SEC original nonpublic information about a securities law violation that leads to a successful enforcement action that results in monetary sanctions of more than $1 million. Original information under Dodd-Frank is information obtained from the independent analysis or knowledge of the whistleblower that is not known to the SEC from another source. It cannot be exclusively derived from a judicial or administrative hearing or news media, unless the whistleblower is the source of the information.

The amount of the award is supposed to be 10-30% of the monetary sanctions that are collected in the Commission's action or a related action. The statute of limitations under which whistleblowers can bring claims against employers is 180 days after a violation is discovered.

The SEC whistleblower program is administered by the Office of the Whistleblower. However, it can be helpful to retain an attorney even when you are first trying to decide whether to report securities fraud or another violation.

Dodd-Frank also mandates a reward by the SEC to whistleblowers who voluntarily give original information about securities violations or bribes paid to foreign officials who violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. There is a similar program for the Commodities Future Trading Commission, which provides rewards when whistleblowers make reports of violations when commodities are traded. There is some overlap with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, but Dodd-Frank contains a longer statute of limitations, offers larger back pay awards, and provides the chance to sue in federal court. Protection applies when an employee reports consumer law violations to an employer or any local, state, or federal government authority or law enforcement agency.

Protections Against Retaliation

It can be nerve-wracking to consider reporting your employer and threatening your livelihood, regardless of the incentives under the SEC and CFTC programs. Crucially, however, Dodd-Frank prohibits employers from retaliating against whistleblowers. Your employer is not supposed to retaliate against you for reporting violations of the laws that cover commodity and currency exchange, corporate and accounting fraud, or consumer finance. Retaliation can include a wide range of adverse behaviors taken by an employer in response to an employee's engagement in protected activities. It can include being fired, demoted, or even harassed.

Previously, there was some disagreement among courts about whether whistleblowers who report securities violations should be protected under Dodd-Frank. The SEC had interpreted the whistleblower protections more broadly to encompass internal complaints that were otherwise eligible. However, in 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that whistleblower protections only apply to people who report problems to the SEC, rather than people who simply file an internal report. The justices held that employees who only report problems to management but not the SEC will not qualify for Dodd-Frank protection against retaliation. However, if you simply report a problem to your management, you may still have protections against retaliation under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Discuss Your Options with a Whistleblower Lawyer in New York City

People who are mistreated in the workplace because they reported a securities violation to the SEC should seek out knowledgeable legal help. If you are concerned about whistleblower protections under the Dodd-Frank Act in a New York City workplace, you should consult an experienced employment attorney. You can contact Phillips & Associates at (212) 248-7431 or through our online form for a free consultation. We handle employment litigation in the boroughs of the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan; the counties of Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk; as well as New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania.

PHILLIPS & ASSOCIATES
45 Broadway, #620,
New York NY, 10006
Tel: 212-248-7431
Fax: 212-901-2107

Client Reviews
★★★★★
I called at Phillips & Associates seeking for a consultation and I was very pleased with the conversation I had with Eugenio Benvenuto. He was able to answer my questions thoroughly and gave me reassurance. I highly recommend their practice. Giulia
★★★★★
Hands down the best law firm for labor disputes in NYC. Being in the restaurant industry for more than 30 years I can say that this law firm is the number one choice for workers in the restaurant business that need to sue their company for wrongful termination. A special compliment to my lawyer Brittany Stevens. An amazing person and well prepared experienced lawyer. She was professional and empathetic to my case and worked in a time appropriate manner. She never miss a phone call at any hour of the day.The other associates that assisted Brittany were Yusha Hiraman, Eugenio Benvenuto and Katerina Housos. They were all professional and answered any questions or concerns that I had. Brittany and her team helped me with what I needed, when I needed it. I want to thank them all (especially Brittany), for a job well done. Massimo
★★★★★
Jesse Weinstein handled my discrimination case. He was extremely patient and understanding throughout the process and remained professional and consistent even when I could not. I really felt like he had my back and I didn't have to worry. His expertise, combined with the experience of the Firm, resulted in the best possible outcome of my case. Although I wouldn't wish what I went through on anyone, things do and always will happen and I would highly recommend Jesse and this Firm to anyone facing discrimination or other workplace issues. Karen
★★★★★
I highly recommend Parisis (Gerry) Fillippatos with Phillips & Associates to represent you for employment related matters. He and his team were professional, attentive to every detail and brilliant at identifying the legal grounds to win the case. Parisis's communication and delivery were highly articulate and precise. He is personable and makes you feel comfortable in the maze of legal jargon. Finally, his confidence, perseverance and masterful negotiation skills deliver the win. Anonymous
★★★★★
I had an excellent experience with this team! Thanks, Marjorie, Brittany, and Candy for your great support and prompt answers to all my questions. I highly recommend this firm. This team works very hard and I am extremely happy with the results. Ana