By: Pinny Goldberg and Peter Walker

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in a stark departure from every other court to previously consider the issue, has ruled that potential whistleblowers are only protected from retaliation under the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010’s whistleblower-protection provision if they report a violation of the securities laws directly to the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Although the five district court decisions to previously consider the definition of a “whistleblower” under the statute all concluded that the whistleblower-protection provision could also extend to certain individuals who made an internal report to the employer, even if they did not make a report directly to the SEC, the Fifth Circuit, in the first circuit court decision to address this issue, found the reasoning of those cases unpersuasive. For a complete analysis of the decision click HERE.