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Whistleblowers In Criminal Antitrust Activity Cases Protected from Retaliation

One of the final acts of the presidency of Donald Trump was to sign into law a Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act. The law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who report violations of antitrust laws to the federal government or to their own internal higher-ups.

About the legislation

The legislation makes it illegal for employers to demote, discharge, threaten, harass, suspend or discriminate in any manner against employees who blew the whistle on criminal antitrust actions.

The whistleblower protections established in this new legislation only cover reporting criminal antitrust activity, such as bid rigging or price fixing. The protections do not cover reports of civil antitrust violations, nor does it offer protections to individuals who initiated or otherwise planned criminal activity. This means even if a person who committed criminal actions reports their own wrongdoing and assists in enforcement, they cannot escape liability for their actions.

Employees are allowed to file complaints against employers with the Secretary of the Department of Labor for violations of antirust legislation. If the DOL does not reach a decision on the case within 180 days, the case may be elevated to a U.S. District Court.

Awards in these cases can include back pay, interest on that back pay, special damages and full reinstatement to a previous position.

Over the last decade-plus, the government has made whistleblower protection a clear priority. There are more protections afforded to whistleblowers than ever before, and stiffer penalties associated with retaliating against whistleblowers to go along with those protections. The point has been to incentivize whistleblowers to come forward with their information, and it’s worked; whistleblower programs across government agencies are seeing record numbers of tips.

For more information about the Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act, contact an experienced whistleblower attorney at Kardell Law Group.

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In his new book, "Standing Up to China: How a Whistleblower Risked Everything for His Country," former client & Author, Ashley Yablon, quotes Attorney Steve Kardell about Whistelblower Law.
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  • "Reaching out to Steve Kardell was the best decision I made. His ability to provide immediate insight and direction was very powerful, and a huge relief during a very stressful time period. For anyone struggling with a whistleblower situation, I would highly recommend at least speaking with Steve. After a 10 minute call with him, I had a better understanding of what I was dealing with. Even better, he gave me some immediate hope. In the end Steve did a better job than I thought was possible. Steve was able to get in contact with people in my organization, that I didn’t have access to. Because of his years of experience, he already has contacts in many organizations in Dallas. The entire situation was handled peacefully. I was impressed by his ability to “keep the peace”–rather than creating a battle with the organization. The reason I didn’t reach out to a lawyer initially, was because I thought it would mean an immediate end to any hope of a positive relationship with the company. Steve was able to address my concerns, and in the end I was able to continue to work for them."  -KS

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