In Lawson v. FMR, decided March 4, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court greatly expanded the scope of whistleblower protections under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) by extending the Act’s reach to employees of private firms that contract with public companies. Lawson was the first SOX whistleblower case to ever be heard by the Supreme Court. Prior to Lawson, SOX whistleblower protections shielded employees of public companies only.
Economic crime is increasingly impacting global businesses according to a recent report from professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Globalization and growing reliance on technology and online processes are two significant factors heightening the legal and financial threats posed by crimes like misappropriation, fraud, bribery and corruption.
The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) requires all US employers verify the employment eligibility of their employees by completing Form I-9 upon hiring an employee. In addition to completing the form, employers must also retain it for the length of employment, plus the later of either three years from the date of hire, or one year after the date of termination. While employers may retain I-9 forms in paper format, electronically or a combination of the two, they must adhere to specific practices to avoid violations and penalties under the law.
Allegations of unlawful workplace retaliation have steadily risen over the last decade and now represent the most common type of discrimination claim filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) —topping even race- and gender-discrimination claims. This surge in retaliation claims is due partly to court decisions that have broadened protections against retaliation. Workers have also had a great deal of success with these claims, as they often survive even when underlying claims of discrimination are dismissed
The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) requires all US employers fill out Form I-9 upon hiring an employee to verify his or her employment eligibility. Although it may seem straightforward to request that an employee fill out a form, it actually requires a light touch. Employers must request enough information to comply with IRCA, but not too much — or the wrong kind — of information, which could imply discrimination.
Third parties create a wide array of corruption risks for companies operating in the modern business environment. As a result, it is imperative for a company to learn as much as possible about all agents, consultants, brokers, advisors and others with whom it deals. This is known as performing “due diligence.”
American businesses are doing a better job at fostering ethical workforces, according to a new survey conducted by the Ethics Resource Center. Results of the Center's National Business Ethics Survey show workplace misconduct is at a historic low and fewer employees feel pressured to compromise standards. At the same time, the survey reported that those at the managerial level commit the largest percentage of misconduct, and retaliation remains a strong deterrent to reporting misbehavior.
Nearly 34 million Americans diagnosed with cancer, diabetes or epilepsy, and over two million suffering from an intellectual disability are now protected from discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Changes to the definition of a disability made by the 2008 ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) were reflected in four revised publications issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in May 2013. Given the limitations these diseases place on major life activities, the EEOC considers applicants and employees with these conditions to fall within the definition of a "disability" under the ADA.
In 2010, European regulators began investigating claims that Google abused its dominance in Internet search and advertising by favoring its own products and services in search results. Google powers 90 percent of searches in many European markets; its share in the United States is closer to 70 percent. After almost four years, regulators have finally reached a settlement with Google. However, given that Google's business model has reportedly changed drastically in the past few years, many believe the settlement will have little impact on the company's dominance of the market in Europe.
As anti-corruption efforts around the globe get more aggressive, more multi-national businesses are implementing best practices to ensure compliance with laws like the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the UK Bribery Act. Local laws and cultures, however, often make compliance difficult and require proactive measures to stem inappropriate behavior by foreign subsidiaries and business partners.