The Chinese subsidiary of a major U.S. cosmetics company recently pleaded guilty to violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and agreed to pay $67.7 million to settle criminal charges with the Department of Justice (DOJ). The company will pay an additional $67.35 million to settle the civil suit brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for allowing its employees to hand out $8 million in gifts to Chinese government officials in exchange for business benefits.
The Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently announced an agreement with a medical center to settle charges stemming from the center’s failure to prevent malware from infecting its computers. The malicious programming breached the electronic protected health information (ePHI) of 2,743 individuals in violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently dealt a harsh blow to the government's insider trading program with a ruling that limits the range of those who can be charged with insider trading violations. In vacating the convictions of two former hedge fund managers, the court made it more difficult to charge those without a direct connection with the alleged insider and narrowed the definition of the requisite "benefit" the insider must have received.
Bring your own device (BYOD) policies have become an established business practice, with over half of the respondents in a recent survey reporting they are permitted to access corporate information and services with their personal smartphone, tablet or laptop. At the same time, 95% of respondents reportedly experienced information security issues stemming from BYOD issues in the past year. Despite such reports, many businesses continue to ignore the inherent security risks of BYOD, by either not implementing adequate BYOD policies or failing to address the issue at all. BYOD security issues arise from—
On December 9, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously agreed that the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not entitle employees to compensation for time spent going through mandatory security checks at the end of their work shifts.
Earlier this year, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and the Treasury issued a final rule implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and revising the requirements of other healthcare laws and regulations affected by the ACA. One of the most significant changes made was to prohibit group health plans and issuers from imposing pre-existing condition exclusions on any enrollees in plans beginning on or after January 1, 2014. Consequently, as of December 31, 2014, health plans and issuers will no longer be required to issue the Certificates of Creditable Coverage previously required under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
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 workplace discrimination investigation or lawsuit.
The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) recently released the 2014 Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) Examination Manual. Last updated in 2010, the manual provides guidance on the most effective ways banking organizations can comply with the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and anti-money laundering regulations. The manual also addresses compliance with regulations and sanctions programs administered and enforced by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
Agency officials, attorneys and compliance professionals recently gathered to discuss the latest trends and developments in anti-corruption compliance at the American Conference Institute’s annual U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) conference. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) provided insight into ways organizations can enhance their compliance efforts.
On December 3, 2014, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced its Final Rule implementing Executive Order (EO) 13672 prohibiting federal government contractors and subcontractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Although originally intended to be issued without notice and comment, on December 8, 2014, the agency published a notice in the Federal Register seeking comments on the new regulations for a 60-day period. It is unclear what impact such comments will have on the Final Rule, however, since the agency only opened up the rule to comments in response to congressional criticism of the agency’s rulemaking process.