Managers often find it difficult to raise gender–related issues in the workplace because they think it’s inappropriate to discuss these issues with employees. Some companies, out of liability concerns, even advise their managers to avoid these topics entirely.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen), an arm of the U.S. Department of Treasury, recently issued guidance that applies the Bank Secrecy Act’s anti-money-laundering rules to “virtual currency” -- digital currency exchanged on the Internet. The Treasury Department released the interpretation in response to growing concerns among regulators and financial institutions that virtual currencies are being used for illegal activities.
Rutgers University faces a controversy at a time when its athletic program is preparing to join the Big Ten, an athletic conference that will put the school in the national spotlight and generate millions of dollars in revenue. On April 3, the university fired Mike Rice, the head coach of the men’s basketball team, after a video containing footage of team practices between 2010 and 2012 surfaced. The video showed Rice kicking and hurling basketballs at players and berating them with vulgar language and homophobic slurs. These events come just two years after the suicide of a Rutgers student, Tyler Clementi, following bullying involving his sexual orientation.
The pressure we put on the planet’s finite resources is less of an abstraction and more of a concrete problem with each passing day. The same holds true for local and global economic inequality and social injustice. Customers, investors other stakeholders now want the opportunity to factor in the costs of external environmental, social and economic consequences of business practices when assessing the bottom line – and to know what companies are doing to reduce or eliminate those costs. Sustainability reporting provides such an opportunity and, if done correctly, can be a vehicle for showcasing a company’s progress as it moves toward more environmentally and socially conscious business practices.
The term “big data” refers to sets of information so large that they are difficult to process using traditional database techniques. The healthcare industry has recently started using big data to solve many issues affecting patient care. Big data is able to increase the quality of healthcare — while simultaneously lowering the cost — by revealing certain patterns and trends that would otherwise be unavailable to healthcare providers.
According to a recent study published by the Ponemon Institute, combating insider fraud and the growing threat it poses to intellectual property and corporate security should be a higher priority for employers. "Insider fraud" includes malicious or criminal attacks on business or governmental organizations — by employees and contractors — that result in the theft of financial or information assets. Even employees' casual misuse or mishandling of data may have severe consequences for companies.
Last week, SAC Capital Advisors, a large hedge fund owned by billionaire Steven A. Cohen, has agreed to pay the staggering sum of $602 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to settle an insider-trading case. The civil lawsuit against SAC claimed the company sold around $1 billion in shares of two pharmaceutical companies after a former portfolio manager received a tip from a doctor that the development of a new drug for Alzheimer’s disease was not going well. At the same time, SAC also paid $14 million to settle a smaller case involving the illegal trading of technology stocks. Altogether, SAC paid $616 million to make its insider-trading problems go away.
Officials of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) promised to continue to enforce laws aggressively at the annual "SEC Speaks" conference in Washington, D.C. last month. Protecting investors by maximizing stability and minimizing risk continues to be the goal of the Commission.
In August 2012, the SEC approved a new rule known as the Conflict Minerals Rule. It requires companies to disclose the use of conflict minerals — gold, tin, tungsten and tantalum — that originate from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) or any country with an adjacent border. The purpose of the Rule is to encourage companies to strengthen their controls over how and where they obtain those minerals, thereby reducing the funding of armed groups responsible for extreme violence.
As horrific and unfortunate as it was, last December’s school shooting in Newtown, CT has brought about a significant increase in public awareness of mental-health and public-safety issues. These issues affect not just schools but extend into the workplace as well. According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fact sheet, workplace violence ranges from verbal abuse, threats and intimidation to physical acts that may result in injuries or even death to the victims. Nearly two million reports of workplace violence are received each year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), there were 506 homicides in U.S. workplaces in 2010. Workplace violence can occur in any type of workplace and in any industry.