If you witness suspicious or unlawful activity at your place of employment, you must decide how to respond. For most, an internal report is as far as the proceedings will ever go. But, depending on the severity of the offense and your company’s response, you may choose to take it further and report the matter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
But what if you already know that your employer is breaking the law and reporting to the SEC is necessary regardless?
Should you still file an internal report?
Yes, unless you feel that you would be risking your job or person by doing so. For your protection, consider the option of filing a report anonymously. Filing an internal report is helpful for the SEC because it creates a trail for the SEC to follow. If the company initiates an internal investigation (the appropriate response), it could make the SEC’s investigation go more quickly and smoothly. However, if you feel there is a possibility that your company will destroy evidence, it may be better to go directly to the SEC.
If you file an internal report, make sure you file a report with the SEC within 120 days to abide by whistleblower laws and receive whistleblower protections.
Will you still receive an award if the SEC finds the company at fault?
Yes, you are still eligible to receive the same percentages (10 to 30%) of the money collected when you file an internal report.
To stop corporate wrongdoing, someone has to speak first. If that someone is you, ensure that you take the right steps to protect yourself and your future.