Ninth Circuit Ruling Broadens Application of Whistleblower Protections

A split Ninth Circuit panel recently ruled that the Dodd-Frank Act’s (DFA) anti-retaliation protections extend to employees who report their claims solely via internal reports. Previously, federal court rulings have held that whistleblower provisions applied only to employees disclosing them directly to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). A three-judge panel affirmed the district court’s decision in Paul Somers v. Digital Realty Trust, Inc., denying the defendant’s motion to dismiss the former Digital Realty executive’s whistleblower claim of securities law violations brought under the DFA’s anti-retaliation provision but reported only to senior management.