Dr. Stephanie Trossbach acts as an ombudsperson for companies. An ombudsperson, also known as an ‘ombudsman’ or ‘confidential representative’, independently represents the interests of clients by receiving and addressing reports of potential misconduct, and may also conduct internal investigations.
The role of the ombudsperson is to prevent and uncover violations of the law or internal standards, e.g., German Criminal Code (StGB), General Act on Equal Treatment (AGG), Act on Corporate Due Diligence Obligations in Supply Chains (LkSG), internal Code of Conduct / Ethics or other guidelines. The ombudsperson may also be appointed as anti-corruption representative or complaints officer for equal opportunity (AGG) or LkSG issues. An ombudsperson is a component of an effective Compliance Management System (CMS) and of a risk-management strategy.
You can use this reporting form to report any violations of laws and regulations (only) concerning the companies represented by Dr. Stephanie Trossbach.
The ombudsperson represents the client (company or organization), rather than the whistleblower. However, the whistleblower’s protection is ensured by professional secrecy and restrictions on the information which the client can demand from the ombudsperson. The whistleblower’s identity can be disclosed to the client only with the explicit and written consent of the whistleblower. No attorney-client relationship is established with you as a whistleblower by submitting such a report.
The submission of a report is free of charge. You can submit your report openly or anonymously. Experience shows that reports submitted by name are usually easier to resolve. If you still wish to remain anonymous, please note that in the course of submitting your report, you should not submit any information that could be traced back, either directly or indirectly, to your identity. Also make sure you have a secure Internet connection, which is indicated by the lock symbol in your browser.
Further Information for Companies
An ombudsperson can effectively support companies in receiving and processing reports and thus in fulfilling legal requirements.
Legal requirements for managing whistleblowing can be found here:
The EU Whistleblower Directive that lays down a procedure for dealing with reports from whistleblowers makes the role of an ombudsperson even more important.
- Employers and agencies that employ 50 or more people are obligated by the EU Whistleblower Directive to set up internal reporting offices since December 17, 2021
- The tasks of the internal reporting offices include: operating reporting channels, checking the validity of reports, taking follow-up measures, providing employees with easily accessible and clear information on external reporting procedures
- The receipt of a report must be confirmed within seven days of the report submission. A response must be sent within three months
- One should be able to submit a report both, in writing and verbally (over the phone, through other voice transmission devices, or i a physical meeting upon prior appointment)
Any violations (hindering a report, threatening of retaliation, refusing to provide information to external reporting offices, disregarding the confidentiality requirement with regard to the persons involved) against this law are punishable with fines of up to 100,000 euros.
In addition to the EU Whistleblower Directive, the German Act on Corporate Due Diligence Obligations in Supply Chains (LkSG) also requires the establishment of a complaints office or the appointment of an ombudsperson to fullfill the human rights and environmental due diligence requirements.
- Companies can either set up an in-house complaints procedure or participate in a corresponding external complaints procedure, provided that it meets the relevant criteria
- The persons commissioned by the company to implement the procedure must guarantee impartiality; in particular, they must be independent and not bound by instructions. They are bound to secrecy. Confidentiality of identity and data protection must be guaranteed
- The company must provide clear and comprehensible contact details and complaint procedure instructions
- The complaint procedure is set up in such a way that attention can also be drawn to violations that have arisen through the economic activity of an indirect supplier
- The effectiveness of the complaint procedure must be checked at least once a year and on an ad hoc basis
The ombudsperson is available to the whistleblower outside the company as a specific contact person that can also advise on whether a report should be submitted. The ombudsperson can relieve the represented company through an initial inspection and assessment.
The ombudsperson represents the client (company or organization), rather than the whistleblower. However, the whistleblower’s protection is ensured by professional secrecy and restrictions on the information which the client can demand from the ombudsperson.
The following communication channels are generally available for the submission of a report:
- Individual phone number
- Personalized email address (e.g., email@example.com)
- Website Contact form with encrypted transmission
- Contact via an electronic whistleblower system, if needed