Whistleblowing plays an important role in various aspects of society. In the United States, the Securities and Exchange Commission's Office of the Whistleblower has been providing both awards and protections for whistleblowers who report potential securities laws violations for more than 10 years. Since its inception in 2010 as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, it has awarded more than $900 million in whistleblower awards, with the first whistleblowing award being made in 2012. The individuals who report the suspected wrongdoing to the SEC are protected from retaliation by their employer and the SEC does not publicly release the names or identifying information about whistleblowers. In September, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted amendments to the rules of the whistleblowing program. The goal of the amendments was to enhance clarity, efficiency and transparency to the whistleblower award program. This paper discusses the recent amendments as well as some recent high dollar awards. The US SEC Whistleblower Program is also compared to the recently adopted EU Directive on Whistleblower Protection in Europe. Recommendations for future research on whistleblowing are provided.
Whistleblowing, hotlines, SEC