On May 22, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission approved amendments to the whistleblower rules in 17 CFR Part 165. The amended rules strengthen the anti-retaliation protections for whistleblowers and enhance the process for review of whistleblower claims.

Among other changes, the amended rules:

  1. permit the CFTC or the whistleblower to bring an action against an employer for retaliation against a whistleblower;
  2. prohibit employers from preventing a potential whistleblower from contacting the CFTC staff about a possible violation of the Commodity Exchange Act through a confidentiality, pre-dispute arbitration or similar agreement;
  3. revise the eligibility requirements for whistleblowers;
  4. clarify the rules regarding awards for Related Actions (including awards provided by the Securities and Exchange Commission);
  5. introduce additional steps in the claims review process and clarify the contents of the records for award determinations; and
  6. explain that the Director of Enforcement may disclose whistleblower identifying information when deemed necessary or appropriate.

The amended rules will go into effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. A fact sheet summarizing the amendments is available here.