Since the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s whistleblower award program was launched more than three years ago, the agency has handed out payments of more than $50 million to 17 different whistleblowers. For the most part, these payments have been provided in cases involving fraud. On Tuesday, April 28, the SEC announced that for the first time, it was offering an award to a whistleblower who was the victim of workplace retaliation.
That $600,000 figure represents the maximum 30 percent award available to whistleblowers through the program. According to an SEC press release, the whistleblower, an employee of Paradigm Capital Management, Inc., suffered a variety of hardships and retaliatory actions after reporting company misconduct to the agency. The company removed the whistleblower from his or her position, then put the whistleblower in charge of investigating the conduct he or she had reported to the SEC. Paradigm also stripped the whistleblower of all supervisory duties and took other actions that marginalized the individual in the workplace.
As the first workplace retaliation case the SEC has heard, the case is a landmark for would-be whistleblowers across the nation. Employees are already protected from employer retaliation by various labor laws, but now it is also clear that reporting such retaliation could lead to major awards. Whistleblower awards that come directly from the SEC may be anywhere from 10 to 30 percent of a claim’s total value.
If you believe you’ve been the victim of employer retaliation, it is important to take legal action as soon as possible. Contact the skilled Dallas lawyers at Whistleblower Law for Managers to learn more about your legal options.