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Congressman Al Green Introduces Sweeping Legislative Package to Protect and Reward Whistleblowers

October 5, 2021

(Houston, TX) – On Tuesday, October 5, 2021, Congressman Al Green (TX-09) released the following statement announcing the introduction of his Whistleblower Protection Reform Act of 2021 and Financial Compensation for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Whistleblowers Act:

“The objective of this set of bills is to ensure fundamental protections and just compensation for whistleblowers. As illustrated by the example of the Facebook whistleblower now in the headlines, whistleblowers often put their reputations and careers on the line to protect consumers, uphold transparency, and maintain integrity within their organizations. In so doing, these brave individuals also do a vital service to our nation, but one that is too often avoided for fear of reprisal,” Congressman Al Green declared.  

“My Whistleblower Protection Reform Act of 2021 strengthens existing whistleblower protections afforded by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the federal agency that helps regulate financial markets, enforces securities laws, protects investors, and oversees the disclosure of important market information. Among other provisions, this bill strengthens current safeguards by reforming burdens of proof, authorizing compensatory damages for whistleblowers who suffer retaliation short of termination, and protecting those who report wrongdoing orally rather than only in writing. Additionally, the legislation shores up whistleblower protections created by the Dodd-Frank Consumer Protection and Wall Street Reform Act (DFA), which was enacted in 2010 to reduce risks to U.S. financial stability and American consumers, as well as provide comprehensive whistleblower rights. However, these anti-retaliation provisions of the DFA were narrowed by the Supreme Court in 2018 to exclude protections for anyone who reported offenses internally, rather than directly to the SEC. I am proud to share that this legislation not only restores the intended protections of the DFA, but also affords broader protections to those who perform a public service by blowing the whistle on misconduct.”

Congressman Al Green continued, “The second whistleblower measure that I am introducing today is the Financial Compensation for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Whistleblowers Act. This law creates a whistleblower reward program at the CFPB that is modeled on the successes of the SEC’s own whistleblower program. This new program will equip the CFPB with timely information to more swiftly uncover consumer protection violations and reduce the number of consumers harmed.  Accordingly, my legislation, along with its Senate counterpart recently introduced by Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, S. 2775, will protect all whistleblowers from retaliation and will compensate those whose reporting leads to significant financial recoveries or fines.”   

“Regardless of whether they are reporting misconduct to the SEC, the CFPB, or their own company, whistleblowers who courageously expose corruption and fraudulent practices must -- and under my legislation will -- be protected from retaliation by their employers. As recent headlines demonstrate, whistleblowers are critical to keeping bad actors in check, protecting consumers and investors, and holding institutions accountable for wrongdoing. I look forward to developments in Congress where this legislation is concerned and am hopeful it will be enacted in the near future.”