Posts Tagged ‘protection’

Senator Grassley Announces Plans to Create Whistleblower Caucus

A long-time advocate of whistleblowers, Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa is once again taking steps to increase whistleblower protections.

On the 25th anniversary of the Whistleblower Protection Act, Senator Chuck Grassley is announcing his plans to create a Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus.

Grassley said he’s creating the caucus to build a coalition of like-minded Senators who can help bring attention to the need for ongoing whistleblower protections. Over the next six months, Grassley will be discussing the caucus with colleagues and encouraging them to join with an eye on an official start in the new Congress.

“Whistleblower protections are only worth anything if they’re enforced. Just because we’ve passed good laws does not mean we can stop paying attention to the issue. There must be vigilant oversight by Congress. The best protection for a whistleblower is a culture of understanding and respecting the right to blow the whistle,” Grassley said. “I hope this whistleblower caucus will send the message that Congress expects that kind of culture.”

Grassley added, “Whistleblowers are often treated like skunks at a picnic. It takes guts to put your career on the line to expose waste and fraud, and whistleblowers need senators who will listen and advocate for them.”

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Supreme Court Extends Whistleblower Protections

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided whistleblower protections apply not just to publicly traded companies but also to subcontractors that do business with them.

The justices voted 6-3 along non-ideological lines in a ruling that extends whistleblower protections to investment advisers, law firms, accounting firms and other such businesses working for public companies.

The court majority said the decision was in accordance with how the U.S. Department of Labor had interpreted the law for almost a decade. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the majority, noted that Congress had enacted Sarbanes-Oxley after accounting problems brought down energy company Enron Corp and communications provider WorldCom Inc, calling those events the “mischief to which Congress was responding.”

The three dissenting justices said the ruling had a “stunning reach” that could give protections far beyond that, potentially even reaching household employees like babysitters.

The National Federation of Independent Business criticized the decision, saying in a statement that it gave plaintiffs’ lawyers “additional incentives to pursue aggressive litigation” against employers.

The justices were interpreting part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the 2002 Wall Street reform law passed by Congress that sets standards for all U.S. publicly traded company boards, management and public accounting firms.

Read more from Reuters.