Ninth Circuit Limits Protections for Whistleblowers Reporting FCPA Violations

In a case brought against Bio-Rad by its former GC for retaliation, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently found that whistleblowers reporting possible violations of the FCPA’s bribery provisions are not protected by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act because the FCPA is not a “rule or regulation” of the SEC. However, whistleblowers that report books-and-records violations are covered as those provisions have been adopted into SEC regulations. The court also found that the GC properly brought claims under California state law for violation of public policy. We analyze the court’s decision and its implications for FCPA whistleblowers. See “Bio‑Rad Settles FCPA Charges for $55 Million through DOJ Non-Prosecution Agreement and SEC Administrative Action” (Nov. 5, 2014).

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