Costa Rica Whistleblower law 2024

Costa Rica Whistleblower law 2024

A firm step towards integrity, new law to protect whistleblowers and witnesses of corrupt practices, both in the public and private sectors

February 8, 2024, marked a significant milestone for Costa Rica with the enactment of the Comprehensive Anti-Corruption Law that Protects Whistleblowers. This law extends protection to individuals who report potential acts of corruption in both the public and private sectors, prohibiting any form of workplace retaliation against whistleblowers and witnesses, thus ensuring their safety.

What are the reporting channels in the Private Sector?

In the private sector, employers with more than fifty employees are required to establish internal reporting channels and develop policies to address alleged acts of corruption. These channels must be accessible, allow for anonymous reporting, and maintain the confidentiality of whistleblowers’ identities.

What about Confidentiality and Sanctions?

Regarding confidentiality and sanctions, the law rigorously protects the identity of whistleblowers, even after the reporting process concludes. Employers found guilty of retaliation will face fines determined by labor judges, the severity of which will depend on factors such as the seriousness of the retaliation and its impact on the whistleblower.

Public officials who engage in retaliation or hinder whistleblowers’ reports will face administrative sanctions in accordance with existing anti-corruption legislation, which may include fines and removal from office.

Individuals who violate provisions against retaliation may face criminal and civil liability, underscoring the seriousness with which retaliation against whistleblowers is treated.

Costa Rica’s new law protecting whistleblowers represents a significant step forward in promoting a culture of integrity and accountability across all sectors. By prioritizing the protection of whistleblowers and witnesses, Costa Rica aims to strengthen its democratic institutions and effectively combat corruption.

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