Foreign Whistleblowers and SOX 1257

  • Are whistleblowers in foreign countries protected against retaliation?
    SOX 806 covers any company that has a class of securities registered in accordance with Section 12 of the Exchange Act or that is required to file reporters under Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act
    Under the Exchange Act, foreign companies are not distinguished from U.S. companies
    SEC exercises regulatory discretion to make accommodations to address potential conflicts with foreign laws

    In Carnero v. Boston Scientific Corp., a U.S. District Court judge in Boston dismissed a civil whistleblower complaint brought by an Argentine citizen who worked for the Argentine and Brazilian subsidiaries of a U.S. company
    The judge wrote in her decision
    The protection of workers is a particularly local matter, and nothing in the legislative history supports the assertion that the language of SOX 806 protecting an employee’ was meant to include all employees wherever they may work
    Concone v. Capital One Financial, was filed by an Italian employee of a U.S. company who worked in Italy and the United Kingdom
    Protecting employees is a local matter again…
    Employment laws are, as a policy matter, always directed by the country in which the employee works. Employment laws embody important economic or welfare policies in every country

  • IFAC is the global organisation for the accountancy
    profession. It works with its 159 member organisations in
    118 countries to protect the public interest by encouraging
    high quality practices by the world’s accountants. IFAC
    members represent 2.5 million accountants employed in
    public practice, industry and commerce, government, and
    IFAC’s overall mission is to serve the public interest,
    strengthen the worldwide accountancy profession, and
    contribute to the development of strong international
    A 61 page booklet was prepared by the Professional Accountants
    in Business Committee (PAIB) of IFAC. The PAIB Committee
    serves IFAC member bodies and the more than one million
    professional accountants worldwide who work in commerce,
    industry, the public sector, education, and the not-for-profit
    sector. Its aim is to enhance the profession by encouraging
    and facilitating the global development and exchange of
    knowledge and best practices. It also works to build public
    awareness of the value of professional accountants. The PAIB
    Committee was formerly called the Financial and
    Management Accounting Committee.
    The booklet referenced above, ‘Enterprise Governance, Getting The Balance Right’ may be downloaded free of charge from the IFAC website at
    Regarding protection of whistleblowers…
    OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and
    The OECD Principles of Corporate Governance were
    published in 1999 and are a widely-recognised reference
    point on the various aspects of corporate governance. These
    include the rights and treatment of shareholders, the role of
    stakeholders, disclosure and transparency and the role and
    responsibilities of the board. Revised draft principles were
    issued for consultation in January 2004 and are expected to
    be approved at the annual meeting of the OECD Council at
    Ministerial Level in May 2004.
    Key additions include principles covering:
    an introduction which sets out the importance of ensuring
    an effective corporate governance framework;
    an increased role for shareholders;
    protection for minority shareholders;
    protection for whistleblowers.
    The OECD has also issued a useful summary of recent
    corporate governance developments in OECD countries.

  • Hello,
    I’m about to be a whistleblower in a company I work for in Greece, based in the Netherlands. I am aware that I will be the first employee to ever make use of this policy. It will be the 1st official complaint.
    I have the proof, the facts and witnesses to what I am about to report (mirepresentation of documents by my manager with the purpose of achieving personal financial gain).
    Do you mean to say that I am not fully protected by the Whistle Blower policy generated by SOX in my country?
    Thank you for your input.

  • Supreme Court Limits Whistleblower Lawsuits
    Associated Press
    May 30, 2006
    WASHINGTON The high court on Tuesday made it harder for government employees to file lawsuits claiming they were retaliated against for going public with allegations of official misconduct.
    By a 5-4 vote, justices said the nation’s 20 million public employees don’t have carte blanche free-speech rights to disclose government’s inner workings. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for the court’s majority, said the First Amendment doesn’t protect ‘every statement a public employee makes in the course of doing his or her job.’ He noted in his ruling that there are whistleblower-protection laws…

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