The Dodd-Frank Act added a whistleblower incentive and protection section 15 U.S.C. § 78u-6 to the Securities Laws specifically to encourage employees to report potential securities violations to the SEC. Subsection (a)(6) defines “whistleblower” to mean a person “who provides . . . information relating to a violation of the securities laws to the Commission.” Settling a split among the circuits and overriding the SEC’s contrary interpretation, this opinion holds that the whistleblower definition applies to both the section’s incentives provisions and to its anti-retaliation provisions. Thus, to achieve protection under the statute, the employee must report information to the SEC. Reporting to one’s supervisor is not enough to trigger protection under this statute, unlike other whistleblower statutes such as Sarbanes-Oxley (18 USC 1514A) or the protection for persons reporting violations within the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s area of regulation (12 U. S. C. §5567(a)(1)).
U.S. Supreme Court (Ginsburg, J.), (Sotomayor, J. and Thomas, J., concurring in separate opinions); February 21, 2018; 2018 WL 987345.