The SEC voted to propose amendments to the rules governing its whistleblower program.  These amendments address, in part, the Supreme Court’s decision in Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v. Somers, which held that the Dodd-Frank Act’s whistleblower anti-retaliation provisions only apply where a securities violation is reported to the SEC itself.  With respect to whistleblower retaliation protection, the proposed rules would require an individual to report information about possible securities laws violations to the Commission in writing.  In addition, the proposed rules would allow whistleblower awards based on deferred prosecution agreements and non-prosecution agreements entered into by the U.S. Department of Justice or a state attorney general in a criminal case, or a settlement agreement entered into by the SEC outside the context of a judicial or administrative proceeding addressing violations of the securities laws.  Finally, the proposed rules would allow the SEC to permanently bar individuals from submitting whistleblower award applications if they are found to have submitted false information to the Commission or repeatedly made frivolous award claims, and afford the SEC a summary disposition procedure for certain types of cases where claims are likely to be denied.

SEC Press Release 

Davis Polk Client Memorandum