The Dodd-Frank Act authorizes the SEC to pay rewards to individuals who provide original information that leads to successful SEC enforcement action. Employees of public companies who voluntarily provide information of securities violations and who are not otherwise required by law to report such violations may recover substantial whistle-blower rewards. (Press reports say that between 2011 and 2016, the SEC awarded approximately $149 million to some 41 whistle-blowers under this program.) When an employee makes such a report under the reasonable belief that the information relates to a possible securities law violation, the employer is prohibited from retaliating against the employee or otherwise interfering with communications between the employee and the SEC.
Employees of U.S. government contractors, subcontractors, and grantees are also protected by federal law when reporting waste, fraud, and abuse both to government officials and internally to company officials.
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