Securities Law

3 of 4 Americans Would Blow Whistle on Wrongdoing, Law Firm's Survey Finds

Three out of four Americans say they would blow the whistle on wrongdoers in the workplace under the protections and incentives now being offered by the government, a new poll shows.

According to the poll, released Monday, 78 percent of those surveyed said they would report wrongdoing on the job as long as they could do so anonymously, without retaliation, and collect a monetary reward, Thomson Reuters reports.

The survey also found that 68 percent of those polled did not know the new whistle-blower program launched by the Securities and Exchange Commission four months ago even existed.

Under the program, tipsters who provide original and useful information about securities law violations can now earn up to 30 percent of the total penalty the SEC collects from a company. The new program, part of the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory law, allows whistle-blowers to remain anonymous. It also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who report wrongdoing.

The telephone poll of 1,007 households was commissioned by the Labaton Sucharow law firm, which established a whistle-blower practice this summer.

The poll also found that more than one-third of those surveyed claimed to have firsthand knowledge of wrongdoing in the workplace. People with more education were more likely to become whistle-blowers, the poll showed, suggesting that more senior employees were privy to the kind of misconduct that could trigger a government enforcement action.

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