In February of this year, a U.S. District Court in New York held that the whistleblower protections under Dodd-Frank Act do not apply retroactively.

The court held that the former employee in that case failed to allege any retaliatory acts which took place after Dodd-Frank became effective on July 22, 2010. The court rejected the plaintiff’s argument that the presumption against retroactivity does not apply because Dodd-Frank’s whistleblower provisions merely made procedural changes to the retaliation cause of action under SOX.

The judge concluded that Dodd-Frank is an “entirely new whistleblower cause of action” that is substantively different from the one under SOX in part because, unlike SOX, Dodd-Frank lets whistleblowers recover double back pay. The decision is in line with another federal court decision in Virginia.