Archives: Whistleblowing

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The form labor agreement that’s making headlines in Japan

Last week, Japanese newspapers reported that a national medical research center in the suburbs of Osaka had entered into a so-called “36 agreement” with its doctors and nurses in 2012, allowing these employees to work up to 300 hours of overtime per month and up to 2,070 hours of overtime per year. (To be clear, … Continue Reading

Staying in tune with whistleblowing law – just what is “the public interest”?

Back in 2015 we reported on the Employment Appeal Tribunal’s decision in Chestertons, a ruling which struck fear into the hearts of employers everywhere by the ease with which it suggested that employees could bring their personal complaints into the whistleblowing arena just by referring to other people who might be similarly affected http://www.employmentlawworldview.com/who-is-the-public-in-public-interest-asks-the-tribunal/. In … Continue Reading

Whose lie is it anyway? Not for employer to decide if whistleblowing disclosure is protected

For a whistleblower to benefit from the statutory protections, his disclosure must be protected, i.e., be (usually) about the breach of a legal obligation and reasonably believed by him to be true and in the public interest.  If he deliberately lies or makes his disclosure only to advance his own interests or prejudice somebody else’s, … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Expands Reach of Dodd-Frank Anti-Retaliation Protections

Adding to an existing split among the federal appeals courts, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled on March 8, 2017 that employees who make internal reports about suspected violations of the federal securities laws and other anti-fraud statutes are covered by the “whistleblower” protections of the Dodd-Frank Act (Dodd-Frank), even if … Continue Reading

OSHA to Employers: No Gagging Whistleblowers!

On September 9, 2016, the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) published new guidelines for approving settlements between employers and employees in whistleblower cases to ensure that those agreements do not contain terms that could be interpreted to restrict future whistleblowing. OSHA reviews settlements between employees and employers to ensure that they are … Continue Reading

Recent redundancy exercises – learning points for HR, part 5

Dealing with employee absences and grievances in redundancy consultation You’ve delivered the at risk letter and sent the employee home on pay pending the formal consultation meeting. As an HR professional it is possible that your faith in human nature has become a little corroded over time, so you are not completely surprised when what … Continue Reading

New UK Financial Services whistleblowing rules come into force – same tune, higher pitch

Over the next week or so, HR Departments in financial services organisations across the country will be taking a last nervous look around their shops before the implementation on 7 September of new FCA/PRA regulations on whistleblowing in the workplace. The new rules bring into full effect the preparatory steps mandated from March this year.  … Continue Reading

Costly SEC Settlement Reminds Publicly-Traded Employers of Dodd-Frank Requirements

On April 3, 2015, we reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had sent letters to numerous publicly-traded U.S. companies requesting their nondisclosure agreements, severance and settlement agreements, and other contracts entered into after the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”) to determine whether the documents unduly interfere … Continue Reading

Employees of one company can be whistleblowers at another – agency workers gain new protections

When it comes to explaining the importance of a new Employment Appeal Tribunal decision, there is nothing quite like a good story. However, the facts in McTigue -v- University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust are rather dry and indeed nothing like a good story, so we shall settle instead for the (potentially really quite important) … Continue Reading

EAT considers “public interest” in whistleblowing cases again

In 2013, the Employment Rights Act was amended to reduce the scope for employees complaining about issues relating to their own contracts of employment to claim that this afforded them all the protections of a whistleblower. Post the 2013 amendment, it has been necessary for an individual to demonstrate that he/she had a reasonable belief … Continue Reading

Can “Child’s Pose” Relieve Bikram Yoga Guru’s Stress After His January 25 California Court Double-Whammy?

I first encountered Bikram Choudhury 10 years ago (okay more like 15, but who’s counting) at his Bikram Yoga College on La Cienega Blvd. in L.A. when trying out his quintessential hot yoga class. He was memorable, parading around in Speedo-like short-shorts on a small stage in front of the class, shouting yoga commands. Given … Continue Reading

Considerations for employers when setting up an external whistleblowing hotline

This post is the product of an interview with Grant Stevens, Head of Sales, Expolink Europe Ltd http://expolink.co.uk/   What are the main considerations for employers when setting up an externally-managed hotline for the first time? Like any worthwhile venture, whistleblowing hotlines benefit from forethought and planning. A great deal will depend on the size … Continue Reading

SEC Clamps Down On Employee Agreements Thought to “Chill” Whistleblower Activity

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently sent letters to numerous, unnamed publicly-traded US companies requesting every nondisclosure agreement, confidentiality agreement, severance agreement, and settlement agreement the companies have entered into with employees since the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) was enacted, as well as any other documents related to … Continue Reading

New Obligations of Employers in the Slovak Republic in Relation to Protection of Whistleblowers

On 16 October 2014, the National Council of the Slovak Republic adopted Act No. 307/2014 Coll. on Certain Measures Related to Reporting of Anti-social Activities and on Amendment and Supplements to Certain Acts, considered the first more comprehensive regulation of whistleblowing in Slovakia. The Act came into force on 1 January 2015. The new legal … Continue Reading

Should Employers Offer Financial Incentives for Whistleblowing

This article was written for whistleblowing hotline provider Expolink http://expolink.co.uk/.   It is well known that many employees do not blow the whistle for fear of repercussions if they do (from harassment to dismissal and various poor treatment in between). So should we offer incentives to employees to follow a whistleblowing procedure, in order that health … Continue Reading

Proposed changes to UK whistleblowing regime

Hands up all those who knew that proposals had been put to the Government to make material changes to the whistleblowing legislation?   The Whistleblowing Commission, a panel of individuals with experience and expertise in both “sides” of the whistleblowing debate, has compiled 25 recommendations of varying degrees of practical significance in relation to public interest … Continue Reading

M5 or A303 – “unmanageable” public interest complainant runs out of road in UK Tribunal

It is rare that an employer wins its Tribunal case but still covers itself in so little glory as did Hampshire Police this month in its defence of a whistleblowing allegation brought by former policeman Mr Panayiotou.    Mr Panayiotou was a chap with a strong, not to say obsessive, sense of right and wrong.  He … Continue Reading

The Infosys settlement: 34 million reasons for employers to take heed

Ok, it’s the end of the year, time is short so let’s just discuss a few reasons to take heed of the much publicized investigation of the IT consulting firm Infosys Corporation (Infosys).  Recently, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it had reached a settlement with the firm which included a record payment of … Continue Reading

Whistleblowing hotline compliance issues in Europe – Part 2

This is the second part of my series of posts looking at traps for the unwary when setting up a hotline for whistleblowers in your European operations.  Read Part 1.   Notifications and Authorisations  Some EU Data Privacy Authorities, for example in France, require their prior authorisation to be sought before a hotline is implemented. Many … Continue Reading

Whistle-blowing hotline compliance issues in Europe – Part 1

Corporate compliance hotlines, or whistle-blowing hotlines, enable employees to report suspicions of violations of corporate rules, financial misconduct and other infractions on a confidential and sometimes also anonymous basis. They are considered by many corporations to be necessary to support good corporate governance and an aid in the fight against bribery, corruption and financial crime. … Continue Reading

5 lessons employers can learn from the Paula Deen Scandal

1.  Mind your tongue.  Racial slurs and comments are never appropriate in the workplace and never when used by the boss.  Failing to take action when you learn of employees at any level using racial or ethnic slurs undermines efforts to create a harassment free environment and opens the door to serious liability. 2.  Pay people fairly.  … Continue Reading
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