The Fifth Circuit has ruled that the Dodd-Frank whistle-blower protection provision does not extend anti-retaliation protections under the statute to individuals who have reported a complaint to the employer, but not to the Securities Exchange Commission. Asadi v. G.E. Energy, (USA), L.L.C., 720 F.3d 620 (5th Cir. 2013) (No. 12-20522). The plaintiff, formerly an executive of GE Energy in Iraq, filed suit seeking remedies under the Dodd-Frank Act for alleged employment retaliation. Plaintiff alleged that the company hired an individual associated with a local official in order to influence the official in connection with a contract, and that when he reported the issue to his supervisor and the company’s regional ombudsperson, he was subjected to retaliation and ultimately terminated. The company moved to discuss the complaint for failure to state a claim on the grounds that plaintiff did not constitute a whistleblower under the statute because he had not reported his complaint to the SEC, and because the statute does not extend to extraterritorial whistle blowing activity. The statute defines a whistleblower as "any individual who provides . . . information . . . to the Commission.” Plaintiff argued that he was entitled to protection under a separate provision of the Act that allows “whistleblowers” to sue their employers for retaliation if their activity is protected by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and thus, Dodd-Frank does not specifically require disclosure to the SEC. On appeal, plaintiff asserted that these provisions relating to whistleblower status were inconsistent, rendering the definition ambiguous, and as a consequence, the Fifth Circuit should defer to the SEC's regulation construing the provision’s reach as extending beyond just those who report a complaint to the SEC. The Fifth Circuit disagreed, concluding that under Dodd-Frank's plain language and structure there is no conflict within the statute, and that the regulation cannot trump the plain language. The appeals court also noted that to accept the proposed interpretation would render moot the anti-retaliation whistleblower provisions of Sarbanes Oxley, which do not require a complaint to the SEC.