Washington, D.C. June 18, 2015. Yesterday Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Ranking Member Patrick Leahy introduced legislation to extend whistleblower protection for employees who provide information to the Department of Justice related to criminal antitrust violations. The Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act of 2015 will create for the first time whistleblower protections for employees who report antitrust violations. Senator Patrick Leahy and Senator Charles Grassley introduced this bipartisan bill, which provides the following protections and remedies:
Protects employees who report violations of antitrust laws to internally or to the Federal Government from retaliation.
Allows an employee to file a whistleblower retaliation claim with the Department of Labor and also grants de novo review and a jury trial in Federal Court.
Provides employees who suffer retaliation to receive reinstatement, back pay, special damages, attorneys fees and costs.
Stephen M. Kohn, executive director of the National Whistleblower Center stated, “This bill is a major step forward in plugging a loophole in the patchwork of whistleblower protection that currently exists.”
“Employees who feel their companies are participating in unfair practices will, for the first time, be protected from retaliation when testifying or providing information to investigators. Numerous studies have shown that employees are the first defense to prevent fraud. Investigators rely heavily on insiders to protect the public interest and prevent illegal competitive practices. This Act will also help ensure small businesses, start up companies and inventors are not abused through the unfair competitive practices of large companies,” Kohn added.
The National Whistleblower Center issued an Alert via its Action Alert Network to urge the Senate to pass the Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act.
A copy of proposed bill is linked here.
Press Release from Senators Grassley and Leahy: Grassley, Leahy Introduce Legislation to Protect Whistleblowers in Criminal Antitrust Cases
Stephen Kohn is the author of The Whistleblower’s Handbook: A Step by Step Guide to Doing What’s Right and Protecting Yourself.