In a unanimous ruling on February 21, the U.S. Supreme Court narrowed the definition of a whistleblower under the Dodd-Frank Act. This new definition limits the protections available to employees reporting alleged violations of securities law, and may result in more employees going directly to the SEC, rather than relying solely on internal processes.
In addition to the whistleblower protections for securities law violations that were at issue in this decision, the Dodd-Frank Act (Section 1057) contains protections for whistleblowers who report alleged violations of federal consumer protection laws. Employees of companies involved in the provision of consumer financial products or services who report alleged violations of the Consumer Financial Protection Act, any law subject to the jurisdiction of the CFPB, or any CFPB rule, are protected from retaliation by their employers. Unlike the protections for reporting alleged securities law violations, however, these protections apply if the employee reports the alleged violations to the employer, the CFPB, or any other federal, state, or local government authority or law enforcement agency.