Business Looks to Supreme Court for ‘Whistleblower’ Definition

by Tony Flesor

The U.S. Supreme Court said last week that it would take up a case questioning whether whistleblowers are protected under the Dodd-Frank Act, even if they don’t report directly to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The case, Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v. Somers, questions the scope of Dodd-Frank’s anti-retaliation provision. The court will weigh in on the issue in its next term, which begins in October.

Experts on both sides of the issue say the case will have significant consequences for defining whistleblower protections. The case seeks resolution to an issue that has split federal circuit courts and that touches both employees and employers who are involved in whistle-blowing disputes.

Digital Realty Trust, Inc. filed its petition to the court in April, questioning the definition of “whistle-blower” under Dodd-Frank when the would-be whistleblower doesn’t report to the SEC.

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the July 3, 2017 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.