An ABA Journal article titled SEC Is Giving Whistle-Blower Protection One Last Lick quotes Jason Zuckerman extensively about the Dodd-Frank Act’s whistleblower provisions, which authorize the SEC to provide monetary rewards to individuals with fresh information about financial wrongdoing at public companies, investment banks, broker-dealers or other organizations involved in transactions affecting the public markets. The article states in part:
“After the Bernard Madoff scandal broke the SEC had a lot of egg on its face,” says Jason Zuckerman, principal of the Employment Law Group, a Washington, D.C.-based firm that represents whistle-blowers. “It’s clear that they need to do more to be responsive to the allegations they get and to encourage employees to report corporate fraud,” says Zuckerman, who co-chairs the Whistleblower Subcommittee of the American Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Section’s Employee Rights and Responsibilities Committee.
The article also discusses proposals by the business community to require whistleblowers to exhaust internal compliance procedures prior to disclosing fraud to the SEC. Zuckerman pointed out that whistle-blower programs with robust monetary rewards have proven successful, citing the False Claims Act, whose provisions were strengthened in 1986. “There is tremendous empirical evidence that it works,” Zuckerman says, citing large settlements against companies such as Pfizer and Eli Lilly. “If companies are so concerned about employees blowing the whistle directly to the SEC, then they should enhance their compliance programs to address employee concerns more effectively.”