The Civil Court of Appeal of the canton of Vaud, Switzerland has condemned Nestlé Group for failing to protect Dr. Yasmine Motarjemi, former Assistant Vice President of Food Safety at Nestlé Group (2000 – 2010). WIN calls on the Swiss Parliament to stop playing at the edges of employment obligations and implement robust whistleblower protections in Switzerland as a matter of urgency.
While the legal system has finally recognised the harassment Dr. Motarjemi suffered was illegal and Nestlé has clearly violated the law, the Court did not address the food safety management issues Dr. Motarjemi was trying to manage, nor has any regulatory authority to date.
See WIN's Press Release
Please read Dr. Motarjemi's Statement in English and in French.
"It is rare to hear of such an excoriating ruling against a company in any whistleblowing case, let alone against a powerful multinational. It is even rarer in Switzerland which has a history of prosecuting those who raise the alarm,” says Anna Myers, WIN’s Executive Director.
Liz Gardiner, Acting CEO of Protect is clear, "When the Swiss Parliament finally acts, it is vital that the law they adopt allows individuals to go directly outside their employment to the appropriate regulatory authorities first if they so choose. This is what is allowed in the UK and Ireland and what the EU has now legislated for across Europe.”
As the preferred headquarters for multi-nationals and global financial institutions, wrongdoing that takes place in Switzerland impacts well beyond the country’s borders. It is time for Swiss lawmakers to enact robust whistleblower protections.
For further background and comment from Anna Myers, Executive Director of WIN or from Elizabeth Gardiner, Acting CEO of Protect, the leading whistleblower advice organisation in the UK, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.