Today the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the FBI Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, a bi-partisan bill designed to protect FBI whistleblowers.  The bill, introduced by Committee Chair Chuck Grassley and Ranking Member Patrick Leahy, will reform current FBI whistleblower protections by providing compensatory damages for whistleblowers, expanding the scope of protected activity, ending bureaucratic delays in processing cases, and allowing for case review by independent administrative law judges. Now it will advance to the full Senate for a vote.
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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:
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The Federal Bureau of Investigation is under pressure to fix it’s broken whistleblower process. In February 2015, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that whistleblower protections at the FBI are weaker than at any other agency. The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing in March and whistleblower advocacy groups are calling for change.

The GAO Report found that the Department of Justice’s FBI whistleblower process leaves FBI whistleblowers without protection from retaliation, and creates a chilling effect. The GAO also found that it could take over 10 years for a simple case to be completed through the FBI process.

FBI employee Robert Kobus is one such whistleblower. In October 2005 Mr. Kobus reported budget and time card fraud in his office. It was a simple case, and fully documented. The retaliation he faced was swift – the FBI stripped him of his duties and literally isolated him by assigning him to work as the only person on a vacant floor amongst 130 empty desks. 
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Washington, D.C. March 4, 2015. The lack of whistleblower protections for FBI employees was the subject of a Senate Judiciary Hearing held Wednesday, March 4. Senators from both sides of the aisle were outraged by the amount of retaliation FBI whistleblowers face along with the failure of the FBI whistleblower program to appropriately handle such cases.

Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center, testified before the Committee stating that “The Department of Justice’s program for protecting FBI whistleblowers is broken.”

“Whistleblowers should not have to fear retaliation for speaking up, and they should not have to wait a decade for relief,” Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said during the hearing. 
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