In the past 20 years, considerable progress has been made in developing corporate anti-corruption programs, as companies recognize the damaging effects of bribery and corruption on business, reputations and the global economy. Preventing corruption is an ongoing process, requiring organizations to keep their policies and procedures up to date with business, economic and technological changes. This includes having a verification process in place to access and verify the effectiveness of their anti-corruption programs to deter, detect and remediate corruption.
Compensation of at least $14 million apparently wasn't enough for the former executive of a national specialty retailer recently sentenced to eight years in prison. Instead, he garnered an additional $25 million in kickbacks while defrauding his employer over the course of ten years, providing a perfect example of a "malicious insider" using his position to steal from his employer.
Conflicts of interest arise in any relationship where a duty of care or trust exists between two or more parties. For financial services companies the identification and management of conflicts of interest must be a core competency.
The question of whether employers should pay interns remains a difficult one. While in some fields it is traditional to hire college students and recent graduates as unpaid interns, this can become a costly mistake if a government agency or a court in a private lawsuit finds that the interns should have been classified as regular paid employees subject to federal or state minimum-wage and overtime laws.
Recent events in Ukraine and the Middle East have expanded sanctions placed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) against certain foreign financial institutions and individuals. This makes it particularly important for companies operating overseas to understand who is involved in a transaction and recognize situations that present a risk of sanctions violations.
Despite workplace diversity and inclusion initiatives, religious discrimination complaints continue to be an issue for employers. This makes it more important than ever for organizations to be prepared to respond to religious-accommodation requests, in accordance with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) interpretation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows eligible employees to take time off for certain serious health conditions, or to care for a spouse, parent or child with a serious illness or injury. While most FMLA leave is legitimate, those who abuse this legal right not only burden employers, but disrupt workforce productivity and performance. Unfortunately, in addition to unscrupulous employees, it is employers themselves who often leave the door open for such misuse in the way they handle and implement FMLA-compliance policies.
A large operator of acute-care hospitals reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to resolve multiple whistleblower lawsuits, which alleged the company knowingly defrauded government healthcare systems by billing for inpatient services that should have been billed as less expensive outpatient or observation services.
A non-profit healthcare company agreed to pay $800,000 as part of a settlement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for allegedly mishandling 71 boxes of medical records in violation of the privacy rule of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
An investment firm's plan to defraud clients out of $10.9 million landed it a $15 million penalty from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). On top of the penalty, the firm must disgorge — or give up the profits secured through their misconduct — another $1.4 million gained by misusing "soft dollars" and "cherry picking" trades. The SEC also went after individuals, imposing separate fines on the firm's founder and another advisor and barring both from the securities industry.