Under some circumstances, the attorney work product doctrine prevents litigants forcing disclosure of tangible material, usually documents, that their opponents' attorneys prepared in anticipation of litigation. In US Bank Nat’l Assoc. v. PHL Variable Ins. Co., a federal court in Minnesota applied the doctrine to protect the identities of individuals interviewed during an internal investigation.
Transparency International recently released its 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), highlighting the status of public sector corruption around the globe. According to the CPI, corruption continues to be a serious issue, leading researchers to call for efforts to crack down on money laundering and fraud, reform political financing and create greater transparency in public institutions.
After a photo of a Burger King sign reading "Now Hiring Must Be Mexican" went viral, Burger King received many angry comments on its Facebook page. Burger King blamed the sign on a disgruntled employee. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) used the occasion to launch a discussion of the pervasiveness of national-origin discrimination in the US.
A new study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University suggests that some employers may use social media to research and discriminate against job applicants. The study results suggest possible discrimination on the basis of applicants' religion, but not on the basis of sexual orientation. The researchers applied to over 4,000 online job openings using dummy résumés and created social-media profiles for each fictional applicant. The postings required either a graduate degree or several years of experience.
Speaking recently at the American Conference Institute’s 30th International Conference, US regulators highlighted the trend toward more vigorous international enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and other anti-corruption laws. Representatives from both the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) stated that more than 150 FCPA investigations are underway, noted new developments in cross-border cooperation and reaffirmed their commitment to prosecuting individuals as well as corporate entities.
Workplace stress is the number one risk to employee health, according to a survey conducted by Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health. Stress can significantly affect an individual's physical health and emotional well-being, harm workplace performance and hamper overall business performance. Yet even though employers understand the connection between stress and productivity, only 15% make improving the emotional/mental health of employees a top priority of their health and productivity programs.
In August 2013, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) adopted new rules intended to improve job opportunities for protected veterans and persons with disabilities.
In data-breach class-action lawsuits, plaintiffs' biggest problem often is convincing the court that the unauthorized disclosure of their personal information caused some type of injury. Often they cannot and this leads the court to dismiss their case on the ground that plaintiffs lack standing to sue.
Many parts of the world are like the Wild West when it comes to bribery and other forms of corruption — it's rough and tumble and anything goes. This is beginning to change, however slowly, due to the trend toward globalization of anti-corruption enforcement efforts.
Holiday office parties are an occasion for festivity and relaxing with co-workers, but employees should not relax too much; they should be on guard to avoid conduct that might create office tension or awkwardness the next day. Managers and other employees are more likely to repeat than to forget the off-color remark that slipped out during an unguarded moment.