The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently sent a strong message to international banks with a record penalty of nearly $9 billion on one of the world's largest banks for violating U.S. sanctions against Sudan, Cuba and Iran. DOJ also secured an unprecedented guilty plea from the French bank, as well as a ban on some of its dollar-clearing operations for 2015.
Marijuana laws are undergoing a quick and radical transformation in the U.S. Currently, 20 states plus the District of Columbia allow the use of marijuana for medical reasons. Two states — Washington and Colorado — have legalized pot for adult recreational use. A recent Pew Research Center survey found that a majority of Americans (54%) support the legalization of marijuana.
On July 14, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released enforcement guidance on pregnancy discrimination and related issues, its first comprehensive update in 30 years. The guidance covers the requirements of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA) and the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) to those with pregnancy-related disabilities.
An increase in government investigations and enforcement actions under the False Claims Act (FCA) and other federal laws can subject healthcare organizations, financial services firms, government contractors and others to enormous financial strain and reputational risk.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) intends to use higher fines and a new round of audits to send a strong message to the healthcare industry about complying with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
On July 9, a U.S. congressional subcommittee issued a report that assessed how colleges and universities are doing in reporting, investigating and responding to sexual violence. Senator Claire McCaskill commissioned the report, which is based on a national survey of more than 300 four-year schools —including for-profit and non-profit institutions, community colleges and many of the country's largest public and private universities.
A federal contractor agreed to settle charges by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) that it discriminated in its hiring practices by creating multiple barriers in its paper and online application systems to prevent African Americans from advancing in the selection process. Such systemic race discrimination resulted in the rejection of 5,557 qualified African Americans applicants in violation of Executive Order 11246.
The UK Serious Frauds Office (SFO) recently won its first overseas corruption victory convicting two individuals of a conspiracy to commit corruption. The case originally began six years ago with a referral by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) following an investigation by DOJ and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). This jury verdict now concludes the UK’s lengthy corruption investigations, which also led to guilty pleas by two other individuals and their corporate employer.
Hundreds of decisions issued by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) must be re-decided after the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling that President Obama did not have the authority to appoint three members of the board in 2012 during a brief Senate break.
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.