The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) was adopted in 2004 by five major credit-card companies. It promotes consistent global security standards and protects cardholder data from fraud and security breaches. PCI-DSS applies to all merchants or service providers who store, process or transmit payment-card account numbers. Since the standard applies to anyone who processes credit-card information, even non-technical employees such as cashiers need to comply with it.
Worker misclassification — that is, when an employer improperly classifies a worker as an independent contractor instead of an employee — is a major priority for the US Department of Labor (DOL). Recently, DOL indicated that it most often sees misclassifications of workers as independent contractors in certain industries and jobs, including janitorial, restaurant, delivery drivers, gas station attendants, nurse temps, security guards and cable installers. Worker misclassification implicates a broad range of laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act, and a variety of agencies.
On August 30, 2013, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced the second award payment in its whistleblower program created under the Dodd-Frank Act three years ago. The $125,000 award will be split between three individuals who provided information that aided in thwarting the continued operation of a sham hedge fund operated by Andrey Hicks. While noteworthy as only the second award under its whistleblower program, the Hicks case also provides useful information as to how the program operates.
A Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation has led to the agency's first Regulation FD enforcement action in two years. The action is against Lawrence Polizzotto, the former VP of Investor Relations for First Solar, Inc. (First Solar) for violations of Regulation FD and Section 13(a) of the Securities Exchange Act. Regulation FD prohibits the selective disclosure of material nonpublic information to securities professionals without simultaneously — or in some cases, promptly — disclosing the same information to the public.
According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiner's (ACFE) 2012 Report to the Nations, employee theft and fraud costs a typical organization an estimated 5% of its revenues each year. The average fraud scheme goes undetected for 18 months, despite the existence of "red flag" behavior in 81% of the cases. Almost half of those victimized do not recover the losses suffered.
The Tanenbaum Center for Religious Understanding — a secular and nonsectarian nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting religious tolerance and combating prejudice — recently issued its report “What American Workers Really Think About Religion: Tanenbaum’s 2013 Survey of American Workers and Religion”. Its findings indicate that in the face of rising religious diversity in the US, employers need to embrace religion as a workplace issue that must be proactively included in business discrimination and harassment policies.
Employers of many direct-care workers are not subject to the Fair Labor Standard Act's (FLSA) minimum-wage and overtime protections due to an exemption for "companionship services." Courts have interpreted the exemption to include virtually all workers, both skilled and unskilled, who provide service in the home to elderly people or people with illnesses, injuries or disabilities.
Recently, the federal government requested employment eligibility documents from approximately 1,000 U.S. businesses for the purposes of performing illegal immigration audits. This is the largest round of audits since July 2009, when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducted inspections on a similar scale.
In 2011, the US Department of Labor (DOL) instituted Misclassification Initiative to pursue employers who misclassify employees as independent contractors. Recently, the new head of the Department, Thomas E. Perez, has vowed to continue this effort and make such misclassifications a top enforcement priority, asserting that they constitute “workplace fraud.”
Abercrombie & Fitch has drawn a lot of criticism — and litigation — in its pursuit of a youthful image. Abercrombie CEO Mike Jeffries offended many members of the American public earlier this year with the resurrection of a 2006 interview in which he stated the company would not sell plus-size clothing. In March, a federal judge in Colorado ruled that the raised storefronts of the company's Hollister stores violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).