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New French Whistleblowing Self-Certification Regulations

February 28, 2006

By International Employment Law Practice Group

Since Congress enacted the U.S. Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002 following the Enron and WorldComm debacles, audit committees of U.S. listed companies have been required to establish "whistleblowing" procedures enabling employees to make anonymous, confidential reports and complaints regarding questionable accounting, internal accounting controls, or auditing matters. In response to SOX, many U.S.-based multinational companies complied with SOX by implementing anonymous whistleblowing "hotlines" world-wide. Some of these whistleblowing procedures, however, have run afoul of non-U.S. employment and privacy laws, particularly in the European Union, where data privacy protection standards are much higher than in the United States.