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Whistleblowing programs hand down record awards

For the last year, turmoil in both the political and professional world has led to fears in many consumers and investors over how effectively regulatory agencies might enforce laws. Fortunately, when it comes to agencies enforcing whistleblower protections and compensation, enforcement appears stronger than ever.

Both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) recently awarded record sums in the multi-millions to whistleblowers, far surpassing many previous awards. While these programs are relatively new, both put in place under the 2010 Dodd Frank Act, the nature of recent payouts indicates that whistleblowers can still expect strong protection under the law.

Who benefits from awards and enforcement?

It goes without saying that the individual whistleblowers who brought about the recent awards benefited greatly. Likewise, other whistleblowers who have yet to settle their cases can take some comfort in seeing that the process is actually working.

Due to regular threats to the Dodd Frank Act, some consumers and investors have concerns that these oversight agencies may enjoy much less power to offer protection. Were this the case, many potential whistleblowers might decide that the risks of reporting wrongdoing are too great.

The recent awards indicate that these agencies do not, in fact, lack resources or authority to protect and compensate whistleblowers. This is welcome news to investors and consumers who want to know that businesses are actually held accountable for unfair practices.

It is also good news for employees. One of the largest whistleblowing awards in history recently came against JP Morgan, a giant in the banking industry that employs over 200,000 workers domestically and internationally. As these agencies continue to secure sizable awards for whistleblowers, employees at all levels of a company like JP Morgan gain confidence in their own ability to safely report any potential wrongdoing.

Understand all the issues at hand

While the reward for whistleblowing is often significant, a poor strategy or misunderstanding of a potential violation may simply cost an employee his or her career and do nothing to right the original injustice. Those considering whistleblowing must understand many complex issues in detail to protect themselves and mitigate the risks to their personal and professional lives, which is understandably intimidating.

Potential whistleblowers do not have to navigate the process alone. An experienced attorney can help a whistleblower scrutinize a potential violation and create a strong strategy for reporting wrongdoing and standing up for justice.

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