Under the motto “Do the right thing”, Human Rights Action addressed a letter to the director and the owner of Ramada Hotel in Podgorica, Montenegro, who decided not to extend the contract of the hotel’s Sales & Marketing Director, Patricia Pobrić, following her disclosing of documents related to the payment of hotel services, which indicated there had been a misuse of public funds.
Although in the meantime her actions led to the initiation of criminal proceedings against a Government employee, Ramada’s management did not extend Patricia’s employment contract, despite her previous outstanding performance results.
HRA considers Ramada Hotel failed to act fairly toward Patricia as well as the public interest in Montenegro and all other employees, who should be encouraged to always support the rule of law and report abuses in the public interest. Also, such treatment is not consistent with the Human Rights Policy Statement of Wyndham Worldwide hotel group, that Ramada Hotel is a member of.
On Friday, 12 August 2016, HRA submitted a letter to both the director and the owner of Ramada Hotel, asking them to reconsider their position and extend an apology to Ms. Pobrić, invite her to collaborate again with Ramada Hotel and encourage all other employees to report suspected corruption in public interest. Otherwise, HRA as human rights organization may no longer continue to be a client of Ramada and advocate human rights under the roof of a hotel treating its employees who dare protect the rule of law in such an unjust manner. The letter in English and Montenegrin language is available here.
In the hope that HRA will not remain the only one to address Ramada management seeking that they do the right thing and support their employee who protected the public interest to the detriment of her own employment, HRA encourages copying and adapting of the letter to the same purpose.
Patricia Pobrić is a single mother of two girls.
Last week, the state Agency for prevention of corruption decided not to provide Patricia with a whistleblower status protection as national law does not explicitly state a whistleblower may report his/her findings through an MP, as she did. HRA emphasized that whistleblowing through an MP has been explicitly provided by the 2014 Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to member states on the Protection of Whistleblowers.