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Rules & Regulations

Congressional Bill Threatens Whistleblower Programs

May 16, 2017

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (TX-R), who introduced the Financial CHOICE Act 2.0, included provisions that would water down protections and incentives for those who speak on corporate wrong doing. The bill, which cleared the House Financial Services Committee last week, is designed to stop people who were involved in a scheme from profiting off it – that, according to a spokesperson for Rep. Hensarling.


According to the NYPost, the Financial CHOICE Act 2.0 has provisions to keep corporate whistleblowers involved in any wrongdoing from collecting awards. The act would also require the whistleblower to try to stop violations from happening within their company. The provision applies broadly any person who, “having a duty to prevent the violation, fails to make an effort the person is required to make.”


The current law prevents people who have been criminally charged from collecting whistleblower awards.


However, whistleblower advocates, like former SEC Chair Mary Jo White, fear that the proposed stipulations would force employees to choose between being fired or not reporting anything at all. “If you require an individual to go internally, they know they are putting their financial livelihood and their careers on the line, and they won’t go,” said Michael Kohn, President of the National Whistleblower Center.