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On November 15, 2017, the Italian Parliament approved a new law extending to the private sector the protection of employees who report unlawful behaviors of which they became aware during their work activities (so-called “Whistleblowers”). In this respect, Section 2 of the law states that Organization, Management and Control Models pursuant to Decree No. 231/2001 (“Law 231 Models”) shall provide for a whistleblowing system establishing (i) one or more channels for reporting unlawful conducts which may trigger the company’s liability pursuant to Decree No. 231/2001 and/or violations of the Law 231 Model and which must ensure the confidentiality of the whistleblower’s identity, and (ii) at least one alternative channel which shall also ensure, by electronic methods, the confidentiality of the whistleblower’s identity. Moreover, Law 231 Models shall prohibit any retaliatory or discriminatory actions against the whistleblower and provide for specific sanctions for the violation of such prohibition and for those individuals who report, with intent or gross negligence, untrue allegations. In view of the forthcoming entry into force of the above-mentioned provisions, all companies operating in sectors particularly exposed to legality distortive events, such as the pharmaceutical and the biomedical ones, should proceed with the update of their Law 231 Models.

 

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Roberto Cursano is a counsel in Baker Mckenzie since 2007 in Rome, Italy office. His practice focus more in pharmaceutical and healthcare law matters and compliance, and assists in tender procedures, the negotiation of public contracts and litigation before administrative courts.

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Riccardo Ovidi is an associate in Baker McKenzie's Rome office.

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Giampaolo Austa is an associate at Baker & McKenzie in Italy.