The Whistleblower
Protection Programs

The whistleblower protection programs

Resources for Current or Former Financial Institution Employees

Department of Labor United States of America seal

Recent reports regarding business practices at various financial institutions have raised questions regarding compliance with applicable regulations. Any allegations that an employer has violated labor laws enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor are taken seriously.

OSHA's Whistleblower Protection Program enforces the whistleblower provisions of 22 federal statutes. These laws protect employees from retaliation for reporting violations of various laws, including consumer financial protection laws and securities laws. Employers may not take any adverse action against you (e.g. firing, demoting, or disciplining you) if you participated in a protected activity (e.g. reporting potential fraud or other illegal activity to the SEC or your employer).

OSHA enforces two whistleblower laws that may protect employees of banks and financial institutions who report financial misconduct by their employer:

Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA) [12 U.S.C. § 5567] Protects employees for reporting reasonably perceived violations of any provision of the Consumer Financial Protection Act or any other provision of law that is subject to the jurisdiction of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), or any rule, order, standard, or prohibition prescribed by the CFPB.

Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) [18 U.S.C. § 1514A] Protects employees of certain companies who report alleged mail, wire, bank or securities fraud; violations of SEC rules and regulations; or violations of federal laws related to fraud against shareholders. SOX covers employees of publicly traded companies and their subsidiaries, as well as employees of nationally-recognized statistical rating organizations.

How to File a Whistleblower Complaint with OSHA

If you believe you have been retaliated against in violation of CFPA or SOX, you may file a complaint with OSHA. To file a complaint:

  • Visit or call the local OSHA office at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742),
  • Send a written complaint to the closest OSHA regional or area office by facsimile, U.S. mail (confirmation services recommended), third-party carrier or hand delivery during business hours, or
  • File a complaint online.

The date of the postmark, facsimile, electronic communication, telephone call, hand delivery, delivery to a third-party commercial carrier, or in-person filing at an OSHA office is considered the date filed. No particular form is required and complaints may be submitted in any language.

Filing Deadlines

Under the CFPA and SOX, you have 180 days after the alleged retaliatory action occurs to file your complaint with OSHA.

General Whistleblower Resources

The Whistleblower Statute Desk Aid describes all 22 whistleblower protection provisions OSHA enforces.

Financial Industry Whistleblower Resources

Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA)

Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX)

How to File a Related Complaint with the Primary Agency

OSHA enforces the whistleblower (anti-retaliation) provisions of the CFPA and SOX. To report a potential violation of securities or consumer financial protection laws, contact the following agencies: