This term the U.S. Supreme Court will decide Digital Realty Trust v. Somers (Digital), one of the most important whistleblower cases to come before the Court in 20-years. The Chamber of Commerce and its Wall Street allies want to strip all employees who report securities frauds internally to their compliance departments or managers from protection under the Dodd-Frank Act’s (DFA) whistleblower law.
If the Court rules for Digital, tens of thousands of employees who internally report frauds will lose protection under the DFA. Thousands of whistleblowers will automatically lose their cases and corporate compliance programs will be crippled.
As fully explained in a September 21st Law360 article written by NWC Executive Director Stephen M. Kohn , “the results” of a Digital victory “will be catastrophic, not only for the employees who lose their jobs for trying to do the right thing, but also for investors” who will be the ultimate victims of the frauds.
Most whistleblowers report issues internally before raising issues with regulators. These honest employees will lose protection under the DFA. The ramifications are sweeping. Numerous whistleblower laws define protected activity similarly to the DFA. The precedent set in Digital Realty Trust v. Somers will undermine the protections afforded whistleblowers in laws such as the Clean Air Act, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, the Surface Mining Act, and the banking whistleblower laws.
Given the importance of this case, the NWC will file a formal amicus or “friend of court,” brief directly to the U.S. Supreme Court urging the Court to reject the Chamber of Commerce’s dangerous arguments. “If the whistleblower in this case loses, investors and taxpayers will also lose. It will be the biggest set-back to whistleblower rights that we’ve seen in this generation,” Kohn said.
Please support the NWC’s efforts to convince the Supreme Court to reject Wall Street’s attempt to destroy whistleblower protections! Please donate to the NWC’s “Friend of the Court” fund, to offset the costs we incur in filing amicus briefs.
Make sure that the Supreme Court gets this right! The NWC’s legal experts must be able to weigh-in to this case, and explain devastating impact on oversight and accountability that would be triggered if the Court rules for Digital.
PLEASE HELP. The Brief must be filed by the second week of October!
- Read Kohn’s full article here: Digital Realty Trust V. Somers May Kill Corporate Compliance
- Somers v. Digital Realty Trust (9th Cir. 2017)
- Chamber of Commerce Brief urging the Court to strip internal whistleblowers from DFA
- See other amicus curiae briefs filed by the National Whistleblower Center
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