Whistleblower

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Whistleblower'

Anyone who has and reports insider knowledge of illegal activities occurring in an organization. Whistleblowers can be employees, suppliers, contractors, clients or any individual who somehow becomes aware of illegal activities taking place in a business either through witnessing the behavior or being told about it. Whistleblowers are protected from retaliation under various programs created by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

BREAKING DOWN 'Whistleblower'

Different organizations are interested in different sets of illegal activities reported by whistleblowers. While OSHA is more interested in the environmental and safety breaches, the SEC is interested in securities law violations. Organizations such as these offer awards for some information provided by whistleblowers and often allow for online submissions of information as well as anonymity.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Insider Trading Sanctions Act Of ...

    Legislation that allows the SEC to seek a civil penalty, of up ...
  2. Securities And Exchange Commission ...

    A government commission created by Congress to regulate the securities ...
  3. Perp Walk

    A slang term that describes the practice sometimes employed by ...
  4. Insider Trading

    The buying or selling of a security by someone who has access ...
  5. Insider Information

    A non-public fact regarding the plans or condition of a publicly ...
  6. Corporate Social Responsibility

    Corporate initiative to assess and take responsibility for the ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing

    The Biggest Stock Scams Of All Time

    Where there is money, there are swindlers. Protect yourself by learning how investors have been betrayed in the past.
  2. Economics

    Defining Illegal Insider Trading

    The better you understand why insider trading can be criminal, the better you'll understand how the market works.
  3. Taxes

    How To Report A Tax Cheat

    If you report a tax evader to the IRS, you could be eligible for a reward.
  4. Investing News

    Mexican Energy, Telecom Reforms Please Foreign Investors

    Two years into his first term, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto is following through on radical campaign promises he made to Mexican citizens for sweeping multi-industry reform.
  5. Investing

    Top Cities Where Airbnb Is Legal Or Illegal

    Thinking of subletting your apartment on Airbnb? Make sure that you meet your city's regulations first.
  6. Economics

    What is a Code of Ethics?

    A code of ethics is a collection of principles and guidelines an organization expects its employees to follow.
  7. Term

    Understanding the Maintenance Margin

    A maintenance margin is the minimum amount of equity that must be kept in a margin account.
  8. Credit & Loans

    Co-signing a Loan? Make Sure You Know The Risks

    Contractually, co-signers are just as responsible for the loan as the person actually borrowing the money. Be careful not to put yourself at risk.
  9. Investing

    Trends In Copyright Litigation

    The Internet has resulted in an explosion in content. An increasing number of copyright trolls are monetizing such content through litigious practices.
  10. Taxes

    What's IRS Form 2848 Used For?

    It's a power of attorney tax form and here's what it can, and cannot, do.
RELATED FAQS
  1. How should a whistleblower report unlawful or unethical behavior?

    Whistleblowing takes many forms. A whistleblower could expose government corruption, expose unethical business behavior or ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What should a whistleblower do if their employer retaliates?

    Although specifically prohibited by employment law, employer retaliation against whistleblowers for exposing employers' wrongdoings ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What do I do if I think an accountant is in violation of the Generally Accepted Accounting ...

    The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) promulgates generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) in the United ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What protections are in place for a whistleblower?

    Whistleblowers can play a critical role in ensuring the compliance, safety, honesty and legal fairness of governments and ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How did the Dodd-Frank Act change whistleblower protection and processes?

    In 2010, the Dodd-Frank Act strengthened and expanded the existing whistleblower program promulgated by the Sarbanes-Oxley ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How do insurance companies use a whistleblower?

    Fraudulent claims are among the most prevalent and serious business risks that insurance companies face. Many consumers have ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Bubble Theory

    A school of thought that believes that the prices of assets can temporarily rise far above their true values and that these ...
  2. Stock Market Crash

    A rapid and often unanticipated drop in stock prices. A stock market crash can be the result of major catastrophic events, ...
  3. Financial Crisis

    A situation in which the value of financial institutions or assets drops rapidly. A financial crisis is often associated ...
  4. Election Period

    The period of time during which an investor who owns an extendable or retractable bond must indicate to the issuer whether ...
  5. Shanghai Stock Exchange

    The largest stock exchange in mainland China, the Shanghai Stock Exchange is a nonprofit organization run by the China Securities ...
  6. Dead Cat Bounce

    A temporary recovery from a prolonged decline or bear market, followed by the continuation of the downtrend. A dead cat bounce ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!