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October 31, 2017

Protecting Whistleblowers, SEC Stands Up For a Key Enforcement Tool


Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Contact: Nick Jacobs, 202-618-6430 or

Washington, D.C. – Stephen W. Hall, Better Markets Legal Director & Securities Specialist, released the following statement on the amicus brief filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in support of whistleblower protections:

“The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) understands that whistleblowers play a vital role in uncovering illegal conduct and bringing lawbreakers to justice.  They’re the people inside a public company, brokerage, or other institution who see violations first hand and do something about it, often at great risk to themselves.  With families, homes and careers on the line, many won’t and can’t step forward unless the law protects them from retaliation by their employers. 

“That’s what’s at stake in a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, and why it’s so important that the SEC filed a “friend of the court” brief last week. The SEC rightly argued that the Dodd-Frank Act was written and intended to protect all whistleblowers from retaliation, regardless of whether they report only internally or also to the SEC.  The SEC’s legal analysis was entirely correct, including the point that a narrow interpretation of the law would undermine Congress’s purposes—to strengthen protections for whistleblowers, strengthen corporate compliance programs, and stop fraud and other violations of the securities laws. 

“The SEC simply cannot be everywhere, but whistleblowers are and they can enable the SEC to de facto be in most places.  But that requires encouraging whistleblowers to come forward with vital evidence and protecting them from retaliation when they do.  The SEC brief was an important step in making sure that happens.”


Better Markets is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization founded in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to promote the public interest in the financial markets, support the financial reform of Wall Street and make our financial system work for all Americans again. Better Markets works with allies – including many in finance – to promote pro-market, pro-business and pro-growth policies that help build a stronger, safer financial system that protects and promotes Americans’ jobs, savings, retirements and more. To learn more, visit

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