17 CFR Appendix A to Part 165 - Guidance With Respect to the Protection of Whistleblowers Against Retaliation

Appendix A to Part 165 - Guidance With Respect to the Protection of Whistleblowers Against Retaliation

(a) In general. Section 23(h)(1) of Commodity Exchange Act prohibits employers from engaging in retaliation against whistleblowers. A violation of this provision could be addressed by a Commission enforcement action, or a lawsuit by an individual. Section 23(h)(1)(B) provides for a federal cause of action brought by the whistleblower against the employer, which must be filed in the appropriate district court of the United States within two (2) years of the employer's retaliatory act, and potential relief for prevailing whistleblowers, including reinstatement, back pay, and compensation for other expenses, including reasonable attorney's fees.

(b) Enforcement -

(1) Private cause of action.

(i) An individual who alleges discharge, demotion, suspension, direct or indirect threats or harassment, or any other manner of discrimination in violation of section 23(h)(1)(A) of the Commodity Exchange Act may bring an action under section 23(h)(1)(B) of the Commodity Exchange Act in the appropriate district court of the United States for the relief provided in section 23(h)(1)(C) of the Commodity Exchange Act, unless the individual who is alleging discharge or other discrimination in violation of section 23(h)(1)(A) of the Commodity Exchange Act is an employee of the Federal Government, in which case the individual shall only bring an action under section 1221 of title 5, United States Code.

(ii) Subpoenas. A subpoena requiring the attendance of a witness at a trial or hearing conducted under section 23(h)(1)(B)(ii) of the Commodity Exchange Act may be served at any place in the United States.

(iii) Statute of limitations. A private cause of action under section 23(h)(1)(B) of the Commodity Exchange Act may not be brought more than 2 years after the date on which the violation reported in section 23(h)(1)(A) of the Commodity Exchange Act is committed.

(iv) Relief. Relief for an individual prevailing in an action brought under section 23(h)(1)(B) of the Commodity Exchange Act shall include -

(A) Reinstatement with the same seniority status that the individual would have had, but for the discrimination;

(B) The amount of back pay otherwise owed to the individual, with interest; and

(C) Compensation for any special damages sustained as a result of the discharge or discrimination, including litigation costs, expert witness fees, and reasonable attorney's fees.

(2) Commission authority to bring action. The Commission may bring an enforcement action against an employer that retaliates against a whistleblower by discharge, demotion, suspension, direct or indirect threats or harassment, or any other manner of discrimination.

[82 FR 24501, May 30, 2017]

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