Courts Filling in Gray Areas of Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Rule

By Jaclyn Jaeger - Compliance Week

Federal courts are providing the first glimpses into how they intend to interpret the scope of the Dodd-Frank Act whistleblower provisions, and so far, their decisions have cut both ways.

Two federal courts recently ruled on the whistleblower provisions, with one expanding the scope of the rule and another restricting it. When analyzed together, “they give very conflicting views as to the scope of the whistleblower provisions,” says Tom Gorman, a former SEC senior counsel in the enforcement division and now a partner with Dorsey & Whitney.

That means those on both sides of the rule could be in for a protracted fight over exactly who the law applies to and what actions may be considered as retaliating against whistleblowers. “Ultimately, I think, some of these issues will have to be resolved by the Supreme Court,” says Gorman.

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