Whistleblower Network News’s recent Marist poll on whistleblowing reveals that a majority of Americans believe Congress should prioritize passing stronger protections for corporate whistleblowers. Based on this polling data, whistleblower attorney Stephen M. Kohn, partner at qui tam whistleblower law firm Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto and Chairman of the Board of the National Whistleblower Center, wrote an article for Law360 detailing the specific pieces of whistleblower legislation he believes Congress should prioritize.
Kohn begins by highlighting notable data points from the Marist poll. As Kohn notes, the poll shows that 81% of likely voters believe stronger protections for corporate whistleblowers should be a priority for Congress. Notably, 27% of likely voters responded that these protections should be an immediate priority for Congress. Support for stronger protections remains extremely high across party lines: 88% of Democrats, 82% of Independents, and 74% of Republicans believe Congress should prioritize stronger corporate whistleblower protections. “There is a clear consensus that whistleblowers need to be protected and supported,” Kohn writes. “On the specific question as to whether or not Congress should enact stronger corporate whistleblower laws, the results outlined above are conclusive.”
Next, Kohn outlines three pieces of corporate whistleblower legislation that Congress should prioritize: the Whistleblower Programs Improvement Act, the ILLICIT CASH Act, and amendments to the False Claims Act. Kohn details each piece of legislation by explaining the problems the bills address, how they protect whistleblowers, and how they will help fight corrupt fraud and corruption. Each of the pieces of legislation includes provisions that establish or strengthen protections for corporate whistleblowers.
According to Kohn, “The reforms to the Dodd-Frank Act and the federal anti-money laundering bills already have bipartisan support and could be approved this term. Likewise, the issues that are undermining the False Claims Act are well documented, and given the trillions of dollars in COVID-19 spending, these reforms are urgently needed.”
Kohn believes the Marist poll results should increase the pressure on Congress members to enact these reforms. He concludes his piece by stating: “Whistleblower advocates will be well served by exposing members of Congress who block needed whistleblower reforms and praising those elected officials who stand with the whistleblowers. This is a game-changer.”