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10 Tips for Fostering a Business Culture of Cybersecurity Awareness

Businesses are recognizing the need for new approaches to data security as high-profile cybersecurity incidents reveal the true impact a data breach can have on an organization. One of the biggest realizations is that IT solutions are no longer enough in a technologically focused age where nearly everyone is online — both at home and at work — and cybercriminals are using increasingly sophisticated methods to ply their trade. Rather, cybersecurity is a business problem organizations must address from the top down, with every department invested in a collaborative data protection plan.

Critics Renew Call for FTC Guidelines on Unfair and Deceptive Practices

Companies and institutions hoping for clarification on how to protect themselves from potential antitrust claims or consumer fraud violations recently participated in a symposium sponsored by law firm Baker & Hostetler. The event focused on the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) enforcement of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (Act), a provision subject to vigorous debate given its vague prohibition on "unfair methods of competition" and "unfair or deceptive acts or practices."

Agencies Set to Release Final Dodd-Frank Diversity and Inclusion Rules

Even almost five years after its enactment, the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act continues to add new features to the legal landscape. The most recent such regulation comes from Section 342 of the Act, entitled “Office of Minority and Women Inclusion” (OMWI). As may be surmised from its title, Section 342 aims to impose diversity and inclusion requirements in the financial industry. The law seeks to effectuate this through the establishment of respective OMWIs within each of the nine agencies that enforce Dodd-Frank. All nine agencies have established their own OMWI.

Congressional Hearing Highlights Concerns Over President's New Federal Contractor Reporting Requirements

Republicans and business groups continued to criticize the aggressive regulatory initiatives in President Obama's Executive Order 13673 (EO13673) at a recent House joint subcommittee meeting last month. The testimony heard by the House of Representatives' Subcommittee on Workforce Protections and the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions generally echoed concerns previously expressed by business groups shortly after the president issued EO 13673. These include claims that EO13673 imposes unreasonable burdens, harsh penalties and adds an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy on the federal procurement process.

Top 10 Tips for Preventing Gender Discrimination in the Workplace

Women have made tremendous strides in the last few decades moving into jobs and occupations previously only engaged in by men. Nonetheless, a high profile lawsuit scrutinizing the overwhelmingly male world of venture capital and recent criticism of the technology industry's mostly male workforce highlight the need for further improvement.

Non-Profit to Pay $309k for ADA Claim

One would assume that a non-profit organization that provides behavioral, rehabilitative and social support services would be adept at complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). But, this does not seem to be the case for a recently-sued social services organization. According to a complaint filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and a former employee, the organization was both non-accommodating and retaliatory towards an employee with a disability.

Workers Win $185 Million for Retailer's Wage and Hour Violations in Understaffed Stores

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently upheld a $185 million judgment against a national retailer for state wage-and-hour violations, highlighting the risks employers face when they try to maximize profits at the expense of their employees. While the evidence showed the retailer's attempt to increase earnings with understaffed stores and overworked employees, this a strategy that clearly backfired. Not only is the retailer liable to the nearly 188,000 past and present employees in the class action lawsuit, news of the court's decision caused its earnings to drop four percent.

Bank Pays $67 Million Civil Judgment for Aiding and Abetting Customer's Ponzi Scheme

A national bank discovered it doesn't always pay to keep certain clients happy after paying a $67 million civil judgment against it for its role in helping a customer operate a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors of $1.2 billion. The bank recently paid the judgment three years after a jury found it guilty of activities that also led to $52.5 million in federal regulatory penalties and more than $600 million in restitution to investors impacted by the investment fraud. While such civil liability is rare, it does highlight the role banks play in these elaborate schemes and the vigilance required to avoid a similar fate.

Employer Violates Public Policy by Retaliating against "Perceived" Whistleblower

A recent California court decision highlighted the importance of getting your facts straight before taking action against an employee. The ruling stemmed from a retaliation lawsuit brought by a woman whose former employer terminated her for reporting state regulatory violations. The only problem: she wasn't the one who reported the alleged violations.

$15 Million Awarded to Former Employees For Harassment and Discrimination

A trucking and ground support services company is paying dearly for alleged employee discrimination and harassment. Last month, a jury awarded nearly $15 million to seven former employees who sued the company over practices in their Commerce City, Colorado, warehouse. The award included $318,000 in back pay, $680,000 for emotional distress, and $13 million in punitive damages, in addition to plaintiffs’ attorney fees.

ACC Alliance Partner
Thomson Reuters