This post originally appeared on The FCPA Blog. It is cross posted here.
On November 28, 2017, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Digital Realty Trust v. Paul Somers on the question of whether the whistleblower protections of the Dodd-Frank Act extend to internal whistleblowers, or only to those who report to the SEC.
Research shows that the majority of employees who report misconduct do so internally, through informal discussions with managers and other conduits. If the Court interprets the Act’s protections as extending only to those who provide information to the SEC, it could stymie and complicate the important work of ethics & compliance ers.
At the 2017 Global Ethics Summit, put on by the Ethisphere Institute, Caroline Rees of SHIFT spoke on a panel about business and human rights.
When asked about differences in stakeholder management approaches between European and U.S. businesses, and why U.S. companies are not as far along as their European counterparts, she highlighted that U.S. lawyers have a more dominant role.
When business leaders want to audit their supply chain, for example, lawyers often warn against such initiatives in the absence of a regulatory mandate. But, as Rees discussed, the existence of human rights risk in your supply chain is not a secret -- it’s just a question of when and how it will be exposed.