Irregular accounting practices and a corresponding £263 million — approximately $423 million — in overstated profits were recently revealed at one of Britain's largest supermarket chains, sending company shares plummeting and prompting an investigation by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Brought to light by a whistleblower in the company's accounting department, the scandal has many questioning the quality of the retailer's governance and pointing to an improper culture under the company's former chief executive.
On November 17, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it had sanctioned two former sales employees in the Dubai office of FLIR Systems Inc., a U.S.-based defense contractor, for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The individuals gave five Saudi Arabian officials expensive luxury watches and paid for officials’ personal travel as part of their efforts to obtain lucrative contracts for FLIR with the Saudi government. Without admitting the SEC’s findings, the individuals agreed to pay financial penalties of $50,000 and $20,000.
Efforts to legalize marijuana secured major victories last Election Day when voters in Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C. approved laws allowing for the recreational use of a plant previously touted as the "evil weed" by the U.S. government.
With concerns of the spread of Ebola in the workplace still on the rise, employers must take care to address anxieties properly to avoid violations of employment laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Preventing Discrimination and Harassment. Thomson Reuters Accelus developed the following infographic to help employers navigate the road to a compliant and healthy workplace.
The approaching holiday season offers employers the opportunity to show their appreciation for a year of hard work by hosting holiday parties where employees can relax and enjoy themselves with co-workers. However, without the appropriate precautionary measures, legal consequences can quickly dampen the festive nature of these company-sponsored events . Whether it's inadvertently including religious or cultural activities, an inappropriate comment by a manager to a subordinate or a car accident following the overconsumption of alcohol, employers can be held liable in connection with workplace events.
Following the Third Circuit Court of Appeals' rejection of the "Mailbox Rule," employers face new delivery restrictions when providing employees with Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) paperwork. The “Mailbox Rule” presumes a letter will reach the person to whom it is addressed once deposited with the U.S. Postal Service. The rejection of this rule means that first class mail is no longer a viable delivery option for employers.
Following a string of publicly disclosed cyberattacks against both retailers and financial institutions, New York's top financial regulator called on the financial sector to be more proactive in its cybersecurity efforts. A letter issued to dozens of banks and brokerage houses by Benjamin Lawsky, Superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), urged institutions to close the gaps in their cybersecurity practices.
On September 10, approximately 1,000 federal agents raided Los Angeles' fashion district, seizing documents, electronic data and approximately $90 million in cash, with nine people arrested for alleged money laundering violations. Carried out by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations unit (HSI) as part of its "Operation Fashion Police," the raid was aimed at uncovering money laundering operations by Mexican drug cartels within the city's fashion district.
The U.S. Office of Special Counsel recently announced that a federal government agency violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by discriminating against an employee who transitioned from male to female in 2010.
Employment is heavily regulated in the U.S., where it is illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It is also illegal to discriminate against a person because he or she made a discrimination complaint, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment-discrimination investigation or lawsuit.