Washington, D.C. October 31, 2013. Today the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act (S.42) creating for the first time whistleblower protections for employees who report antitrust violations. The bill will now be sent to the full Senate for a vote. 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 employees 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 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.” Mr. Kohn further stated, “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. We hope the full Senate will approve this bill.”