In light of a recent Marist poll that shows Americans overwhelmingly support whistleblowers, the National Whistleblower Center (NWC) advocates for Congress to pass a bill that will clarify the scope of whistleblower protections.
The poll, commissioned by Whistleblower Network News, shows that 81% of likely voters believe Congress should prioritize strengthening whistleblower laws for corporate fraud whistleblowers. The entirety of the survey results can be found here.
The NWC wants Congress to take note of these poll results and implement stronger whistleblower policies. The Whistleblower Programs Improvement Act (WIPA)was introduced by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) on September 23, 2019. The bill, currently pending in the Senate, aims to clarify terms in existing law like the commodity whistleblower incentives and protection of the Commodity Exchange Act and the securities whistleblower incentives and protection section of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The bill also amends the two aforementioned acts by clarifying text in the “Prompt Payment of Awards” sections, ensuring that awards are given to whistleblowers in a timely manner.
“Fighting corporate fraud is especially critical in the midst of the combined COVID-19 and climate change crises. Experience shows that fraud proliferates in times of crisis. With broad, bipartisan public support for protecting whistleblowers who bravely report fraud in the corporate sector, Congress has no excuses for further delay in acting on pending anti-corruption bills. The first priority is for the Senate to address the need for better protecting securities fraud and commodities fraud whistleblowers, building on the successful House vote on this matter last year,” said John Kostyack, NWC Executive Director.
“The results of this poll could not be any clearer: the American people want more whistleblower protections. The past year’s partisan battles over whistleblowing surrounding President Trump’s impeachment proceedings appear to have had no impact on public support for whistleblower protection,” said Stephen M. Kohn, a whistleblower attorney who serves as Chairman of the NWC’s board of directors.
The NWC says it is hopeful that the new poll results will show Congress that Americans want improved whistleblowers laws. It issued a call to action for its followers to ask their senators to pass the Whistleblower Programs Improvement Act.