Peggy Whitmore

R-Squared Services & Solutions, Inc.

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) bribery provisions apply to U.S. companies and citizens, foreign companies listed on a U.S. stock exchange, or any person acting while in the United States.  While determining whether the law will apply to a particular person or entity may depend on the particular facts and circumstances of the situation or relevant relationships, and may well depend on differing legal theories (for example, technically the law does not apply to foreign subsidiaries of U.S. companies but the Department of Justice has taken the position that it does), U.S. companies can be held liable for the actions of their employees and agents.

A company may be held responsible even if it does not explicitly approve an employee’s or agent’s improper actions, but simply goes along with the actions; or if a third party responsible for a bribe is deemed to be the company’s agent because the company has “effective working control” over that third party.  As such, it is a good idea to train employees and agents about FCPA prohibitions and their obligations to prevent and refrain from engaging in bribery.