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Whistleblower vs. German manufacturing company

Case overview

Date filed 5 June 2013
Current status Rejected
Issue Alleged violation of employee rights in Brazil
Summary of the case In June 2013 the German NCP received a request for a review from an individual alleging that a subsidiary of a German multinational enterprise had breached the general policies, and human rights provisions of the Guidelines in Brazil. The individual claimed that the company engaged in discriminatory and disciplinary action against her after she made a bona fide report against alleged grievances in the company.

The German NCP undertook an initial assessment and concluded that, according to the Guidelines' implementation procedures, the Brazilian NCP should handle this request. The request was subsequently transferred to the Brazilian NCP in September 2013.

In undertaking its own initial assessment, the Brazilian NCP noted that the request had failed to fulfill two requirements necessary for it to be accepted for further examination, these being:
that the individual manifests an interest in having the notification dealt by the Brazilian NCP; and
the notification fulfills the requirements of the Brazilian NCP’s rules of procedure (Section I, Article 3.I, that "The Notifications of Non-observance should not be accepted if they are based on facts whose knowledge have occurred more than twelve (12) months from the date of receipt of the Notification by the NCP")

In the first instance, the individual didn't manifest her interest in having the notification dealt by the Brazilian NCP, and, in the second instance, the NCP determined that the notification related to her dismissal by the company in 2008, more than 12 months from the date of receipt of the notification by the Brazilian NCP, thus rendering the notification invalid according to the NCPs procedural rules.

Subsequently, on 27 November 2013, the individual informed the Brazilian NCP that the notification was not related to her dismissal, rather that "it was about a breach of paragraph 13 [of the OECD Guidelines], protection of whistleblowers in good faith, and refered to a situation that occurred in 2010 that led to the dismissal of the Chief Compliance Officer of the company in South America.”. However, this places the events as having occured in 2010 which was still more than 12 months prior to the date of notification to the Brazilian NCP.
Developments/Outcome The NCP did not accept the specific instance for further examination.
Relevant OECD Guidelines
Case keywords

NCP Information

NCP name National Contact Point Brazil
NCP address Sector da Autarquias Sul Quadra 03 70079 - 900 Brasilia DF, Brazil
NCP website http://www.fazenda.gov.br/multinacionaispcn/
Other NCPs involved

Complainant

NGO

Company Information

Company responsible German manufacturing multinational enterprise operating in Brazil
Company address
Company website
Company in violation German manufacturing multinational enterprise operating in Brazil
Country of operations Brazil
Other companies involved

Timeline of developments

Date Actor Action Description Document
1 September 2013 National Contact Point Germany reject The German NCP undertook an initial assessment and concluded that, according to the Guidelines' implementation procedures, the Brazilian NCP should handle this request. The request was subsequently transferred to the Brazilian NCP in September 2013.  
1 September 2013 National Contact Point Brazil reject The NCP did not accept the specific instance for further examination.  

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