Whistleblower Protections

Confidentiality

The Commission is committed to protecting whistleblowers' identities. As a general rule, the Commission treats information learned during the course of an investigation, including the identity of sources, as non-public and confidential. There are, however, limits on the Commission's ability to shield your identity. The Commission will not disclose information that could reasonably identify a whistleblower without consent of the whistleblower, except in the following circumstances:

  • When disclosure is required to a defendant or respondent in connection with a public proceeding that the Commission institutes or in another public proceeding that is filed by other governmental or regulatory entities to which the Commission provides the information, as described below;
  • When the Commission determines that there are appropriate circumstances, it may provide whistleblower information to certain governmental or regulatory entities, subject to the information remaining confidential information.

For more information, see Section 23(h)(2) of the Commodity Exchange Act (7 U.S.C. § 26(h)(2)) and Section 165.4 of the Whistleblower Rules.

Anti-Retaliation

The Dodd-Frank Act prohibits retaliation by employers against whistleblowers. Employers may not take any action to impede would-be whistleblowers from communicating directly with the Commission's staff about possible violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA), including by enforcing, or threatening to enforce, a confidentiality agreement or predispute arbitration agreement with respect to such communications. Nor may employers discharge, demote, suspend, threaten, harass, directly or indirectly, or in any other manner discriminate against a whistleblower in the terms and conditions of employment for coming forward with information about possible violations of the CEA. The CFTC and the whistleblower may separately bring actions against an employer for retaliation against the whistleblower.

If you are a whistleblower and believe that your employer has wrongfully retaliated against you, you may bring a private action in federal court against your employer within two years of the employer's retaliatory act. If you prevail, you may be entitled to reinstatement, back pay, litigation costs, expert witness fees, and attorney's fees. The CFTC also has authority under the CEA to bring an enforcement action against your employer for any retaliatory acts, which include any steps taken to impede a whistleblower from communicating directly with the Commission's staff about possible violations of the CEA.

For more information, see Appendix A to the Whistleblower Rules – Guidance with Respect to the Protection of Whistleblowers Against Retaliation.

Contact the Whistleblower Office at any time to clarify your options.