Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v. Somers, 583 U.S. ___, 2018 WL 987345 (2018)

Paul Somers alleged that his former employer Digital Realty terminated his employment after he reported to senior management suspected securities-law violations by the company. Somers neither alerted the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) of his concerns prior to his termination nor did he file an administrative complaint within 180 days of his termination, rendering him ineligible for relief under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. After Somers filed this whistleblower case against Digital Realty, the company filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that Somers did not qualify as a whistleblower because he had failed to report any alleged legal violations to the SEC. In reversing the Ninth Circuit, the United States Supreme Court in this opinion held that “Courts are not at liberty to dispense with the condition – tell the SEC – Congress imposed” before filing suit under the statute.