No doubt everyone reading this is fully aware that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission published final rules on June 13 implementing the whistle-blower provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
Some might need reminding, though, that those rules become effective in less than two weeks — on Friday, Aug. 12.
If you’re late to the game on getting ready for this gem from Washington, your time is running out. Better read up on the SEC’s provision and this handy article from the Society for Human Resource Management (registration is required for this link).
The latter spells out in list form what the SEC’s whistle-blower program is, who’s eligible, what the requirements are for an award, and what employers can and cannot do to employees who become whistle-blowers.
A key focus of that last item are the program’s anti-retaliation rules. To quote the SHRM article — SEC’s Whistle-Blower Rules Effective Soon: What Employers Need to Know Now, by attorneys Allegra J. Lawrence-Hardy and Lee A. Peifer — “In a sense, the [program] leaves employers between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, avoiding securities violations requires companies to encourage employee participation in their internal compliance programs.
“On the other, as a practical matter, the new anti-retaliation rules prevent companies from disciplining employees who fail to report suspected misconduct internally before turning to the SEC.”
The article goes on to detail a two-pronged approach to dealing with this “rock and hard place” predicament.