In June, some members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee introduced a new measure entitled the Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act of 2015. This bill, if approved, would add some additional protection for whistleblowers who give information to the Department of Justice about certain wrongdoing and criminal violations of federal antitrust laws.
The legislation wouldn’t just protect employees — it would also provide contractors, subcontractors and various agents of employers who provide useful information to the federal government or the employer relating to antitrust violations or other crimes committed alongside potential antitrust violations. If the act is passed, it would also give added protection to employees who “reasonably believe” violations have occurred or who take part in various proceedings and investigations related to antitrust laws. The bill does not, however, protect any individuals who initiated or planned the violation.
Employees protected under the law would be able to file complaints with the U.S. Department of Labor. If the federal agency fails to reach a decision within 180 days, these employees may then bring actions in federal court and possibly benefit from compensation, including back pay, reinstatement, attorney’s fees and litigation costs.
The senate committee introduced similar bills in 2012 and 2013, but they were not passed. However, the federal government has begun placing an even greater emphasis on whistleblower protections since that time, which makes it more likely than ever that these new protections could be signed into law.
For more information on how this potential new legislation could impact whistleblower claims, consult a knowledgeable Dallas attorney at Whistleblower Law for Managers.