09/25/2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

 

Senate Bill Would Close Gaping Loophole in Financial Whistleblower Law 

Government Accountability Project Worked With Senators to Recommend Changes

WASHINGTON – Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced the Whistleblower Programs Improvement Act on September 23. This Act comes months after the House companion bill, the Whistleblower Protection Reform Act of 2019, passed the House with strong bipartisan support in July. 

Government Accountability Project, along with the Make It Safe Coalition, worked closely with Senator Grassley’s office to advocate for the reforms and recommended language for the bill. We also met with several members on the Senate Banking and Agriculture Committees and recruited co-sponsors. 

The new act is designed to reverse the Supreme Court decision in Digital Realty Trust Inc. v. Somers by offering additional protections for corporate employees who are currently only protected from retaliation if they make their initial disclosures to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This law would protect them when they make disclosures internally to their employer. Additionally, it would broaden the scope of protections for whistleblowers who report fraud, mandate a one year timeline for companies to respond to whistleblowing disclosures, and decrease the backlog of processing whistleblower rewards. 

Government Accountability Project Legal Director Tom Devine said, 

“This restores free speech rights for the 96% of corporate whistleblowers who never break company ranks. Under the current law they are defenseless if they try to warn their employer that the SEC’s rules are being violated. That’s a lose-lose-lose, for whistleblowers, for the employers who will be blindsided, and for the SEC who will be flooded with issues that could have been addressed internally.”

 

Contact: Andrew Harman, Communications Director

Email: AndrewH@whistleblower.org

Phone: (202) 457-0034 ext. 156

 

Government Accountability Project

Government Accountability Project is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, Government Accountability Project’s mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, Government Accountability Project is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.

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