The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Lindsey M. Williams (202) 342-1903

Citizens' Handbook Explains SEC Whistleblower Process


The National Whistleblowers Center (NWC) is proud to announce the release of the second edition of The Whistleblower's Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Doing What's Right and Protecting Yourself. This second edition includes a new 20--page checklist on the procedures for obtaining Dodd-Frank Act rewards from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The checklist covers the SEC's regulations that went into effect on August 11, 2011 and provides insights on how whistleblowers can use the new regulations to maximize their potential rewards. See pages 276-296.

The new edition also explains how whistleblowers can use the Dodd-Frank Act to blow the whistle on violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The FCPA prohibits companies traded in the United States from bribing officials in other countries. The SEC can require that companies caught violating the FCPA "disgorge" the monies received through the violation. As the SEC penalty can be much greater than the amount of the bribe itself, the whistleblower's reward of 10 to 30 percent of the SEC recovery can also be very large. Whistleblowers anywhere in the world can now submit anonymous reward claims for reporting corruption of local officials. See pages 30-32 and 294-295.

Other new features of the second edition include:

  • How to navigate opportunities to report violations to internal channels and the SEC. Pages 280-281.
  • Tips for employees of corporate compliance and internal audit departments. Page 282.
  • Examples of the types of corporate misconduct that violate SEC rules and can become the basis for Dodd-Frank rewards. Pages 292-293.
  • Managing retaliation claims under both the Dodd-Frank Act and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). Page 290.
The Whistleblower's Handbook is the first-ever consumer's guide to whistleblowing. It contains twenty-one clear and comprehensive rules that fully explain how to effectively blow the whistle. Whistleblower reward laws now cover most of the American economy, including government contracting and procurement, tax fraud and fraud committed on Wall Street. When properly used, the laws are highly successful. Whistleblowers recovered over $3 billion dollars for the Department of Justice in 2010 alone.

"Employees are often flying blind when they suffer retaliation for reporting waste, fraud, or abuse. The Whistleblower's Handbook was specifically designed to help these employees navigate the maze of whistleblower laws," said Lindsey M. Williams, Director of Advocacy and Development for the National Whistleblowers Center. "Knowing your rights can make the difference between going to jail or obtaining a million dollar reward. This is the compass that whistleblowers have been missing for years."

In addition to explaining the laws covering whistleblower rewards, The Whistleblower's Handbook also explains how employees can save their jobs by qualifying for protection under fifty separate federal anti-retaliation laws. These laws can protect whistleblowers in many segments of the economy, from food safety to consumer protection and environmental enforcement. The Whistleblower's Handbook covers topics such as taping conversations at work, removal of documents and what proof is necessary to win a retaliation case.

The Whistleblower's Handbook is authored by one of America's most experienced and accomplished whistleblower attorneys, NWC Executive Director Stephen M. Kohn. Kohn has successfully represented whistleblowers for over 27 years.

To set up an interview Mr. Kohn or receive a review copy of The Whistleblower's Handbook contact: Lindsey Williams at or (202) 342-1903.

Media outlets can also receive a review copy directly from the publisher by contacting Laurie Kenney (Publicist, Globe Pequot Press) at or 203-458-4555.

The Whistleblower's Handbook is available for purchase at the NWC Book Store ($16.95, plus shipping and handling). Proceeds benefit the NWC.

Selected Endorsements and Reviews of The Whistleblower's Handbook:

"For the past 25 years, Kohn's been in the trenches fighting the whistleblower wars. The lessons learned from those wars have been distilled in this book."

Corporate Crime Reporter
"This book arms the whistleblower with the vital ammunition needed to effectively document corruption, while guiding them in how to protect their families, reputations and careers."
Linda Tripp, White House Whistleblower
"This book highlights citizen empowerment and true grassroots democracy in action. As a whistleblower, I know the power of speaking the truth and the unfortunate consequences for those who do. Every American should read this book."
Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, Founder of No FEAR Coalition
"Whistleblowers should do two things: call us at 60 Minutes and read The Whistleblower's Handbook. It's 21 rules lay out the game plan for holding institutions accountable while protecting your job."
Michael Radutzky, Senior Producer 60 Minutes

Since 1988, the NWC and attorneys associated with it have supported whistleblowers in the courts and before Congress and achieved victories for environmental protection, government contract fraud, nuclear safety and government and corporate accountability.