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Among the 2,319 pages of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, the paragraph addressing the scope of the law's whistleblower protections has occasioned some of the sharpest disagreements. Is a corporate employee who reports an employer's possible violation of the securities laws to a supervisor or internal compliance officer—but not to the Securities and Exchange Commission—considered a "whistleblower" entitled to protection under Dodd-Frank? Last month, in the first federal circuit court decision on the subject, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Asadi v. GE Energy (USA),1 held that the anti-retaliation protection contained in the whistleblower provision of Dodd-Frank creates a private right of action only for individuals who provide information relating to a violation of the securities laws to the SEC.

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