In an opinion today, Judge Pauley, relying on the Supreme Court’s decision in Morrison v. National Australia Bank that the securities laws do not apply abroad, concluded that Dodd-Frank’s whistleblower protections do not apply abroad, either, and dismissed the case. The case was brought by a former Siemens AG employee who accused the company of violating the FCPA. Judge Pauley explained:
This is a case brought by a Taiwanese resident against a German corporation for acts concerning its Chinese subsidiary relating to alleged corruption in China and North Korea. The only connection to the United States is the fact that Siemens has ADRs that are traded on an American exchange, just as in Morrison. There is simply no indication that Congress intended the Anti-Retaliation Provision to apply extraterritorially. Liu urges that it would be illogical for the overseas employees of publicly-traded companies not to be protected for whistleblowing activities, but the Supreme Court has warned against “divining what Congress would have wanted if it had thought of the situation before the court.” Morrison, 130 S. Ct. at 2881. Such an intrusion into the employment law of a foreign nation could disrupt the “delicate field of international relations,” an interest protected by the presumption against extraterritoriality. Kiobel, 133 S. Ct. at 1664 (quoting Benz v. Compania Naviera Hidalgo, S.A., 353 U.S. 138, 147 (1957)). Because the Anti-Retaliation Provision does not apply overseas, Liu’s complaint must be dismissed.