On May 19, 2014, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) granted its first whistleblower award. Under its program, the CFTC is required to pay awards to whistleblowers who voluntarily provide original information to the agency which leads to a successful enforcement of a juridical or administrative action by the commission under the Commodity Exchange Act (“CEA”) and results in monetary sanctions greater than $1 million.
Now that the first award has been announced, the whistleblower award program is expected to attract new attention.
Companies should encourage an environment where whistleblowers feel comfortable reporting perceived violations internally without the fear of retaliation. Companies should also ensure that employees understand the company’s compliance materials.