SEC Whistleblower program was enacted in 2010 by the US Congress to curb the inefficiencies experienced in monitoring of the marketplace during the last global financial crisis. During the financial crisis, corporate scandals, scams and fraud were rampant in the country. The program provides various incentives to encourage workers to report any misconduct at the workplace. The incentives include employment protection, anonymous reporting and monetary rewards.
To participate in the securities revolution, you only need to be an American citizen and meet a few other qualifications. Previously, employees feared to be stigmatized at work after reporting misconduct to authorities. Anyone can pretty much participate in the SEC Whistleblower program.
This was designed to protect employees from retaliations after reporting an illegal incident at work. Whistle blowers are empowered to provide actionable intelligence to SEC without even revealing their identities. To report anonymously, you will need to follow a pretty simple process. First, you are required to get a SEC Whistleblower attorney. Secondly, the attorney will see to it that your submission is signed according to the law. Then, the lawyer will authenticate your identity and then submit the submissions to the SEC.
The SEC whistleblower lawyer will serve as an intermediary between you and the SEC on matters pertaining investigations as well as any other enforcement action. The attorney will then negotiate for the highest monetary reward upon the enforcement action going through successfully. It is also required of whistleblowers to disclose their identities to the SEC when it comes to matters related to eligibility, tax and more before getting the monetary rewards. It is upon SEC to do everything possible to protect your identity.
The US Congress recognized the fact that the program could not be successful without employment protection measures. Apart from the reporting anonymously capability, it program needed to provide more protection to workers to prevent them from holding back in the face of illegal activities at the workplace. Although, some employees value loyalty, team work and job security and will be reluctant to report misdeeds at the workplace but most of them value honesty and integrity. Therefore, with the incentives, SEC will get significant actionable intelligence from employees.
The SEC Whistleblower act dictates no employer should threaten, demote, harass, suspend, discriminate or discharge an employee for his contribution to securities enforcement action. Employees are protected fully by law. In case, an employer goes against the act, an employee can initiate a lawsuit against him or her in a federal court.
Whistleblowers get 10-30% of the money received from a SEC enforcement action which went through successfully. The whistleblower is also entitled other rewards if the monetary sanctions exceeds $1 million. The amount of money received will depend on several factors that influence the enforcement action.