In today’s global marketplace, Taft clients conduct business not only domestically, but abroad as well. With that in mind, it is imperative that employers doing business over-seas be equipped with the proper counseling to prevent foreign retaliation and whistle blowing claims.
The Public Interest Disclosure Act (“PIDA”) encourages employees to report misconduct in the workplace and is designed to ensure companies respond without retaliating against the reporting employee. The Act applies to employees reporting crime, civil offenses, miscarriage of justice, damage to heath and safety or the environment and/or the cover-up of any of these offenses. In addition to employees, it covers trainees, contractors and home workers.
The Protected Disclosures Act covers both public an private employers and protects employees who, in good faith, and on the basis of reasonable belief disclose “serious wrongdoing” through internal procedures established by a desire to see the serious wrongdoing investigated. The Act requires public organizations to establish internal procedures for receiving disclosures, and creates special rules for disclosures related to national security or international relations.
On November 25, 2005 the Canadian Parliament passed the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act (“PSDPA”). The Act prohibits reprisals against employees of the Canadian federal public sector who report wrongdoing, including the contravention of relevant laws, the misuse of public funds, gross mismanagement, or any act or omission that creates a substantial and specific danger to life, health or safety of persons or to the environment.
The Act requires the chief executive of each federal public sector to establish an internal reporting mechanism. The Act also appoints a neutral third party, the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner to receive disclosures from public employees.
Whistleblower protection provisions became law through the Protected Disclosures Act, which went into effect in October 2000.
The Act recognizes the responsibility of employers and employees to disclose criminal and other misconduct in the workplace as well as the employer’s obligation to protect against reprisal. Parliament described the purpose of the legislation as being to “create a culture which will facilitate the disclosure of information by employees relating to criminal or other irregular conduct in the workplace in a responsible manner . . .”
Korea’s Anti-Corruption Act of 2001 established the Korea Independent Commission Against Corruption. The Commission is dedicated to the encouragement, protection and compensation of whistleblowers. The Commission is limited, however, in that it is prohibited from questioning the accused.