Despite concerns regarding data security issues and potential compliance burdens, the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) recently notified more than 2,500 entities of upcoming audits that will be subject to new data reporting requirements.
According to the annual report issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), fiscal year 2014 was a "historic" one for the whistleblower program initiated pursuant to the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law. In addition to the largest number of tips ever received — more than 3,600 — both the number and amounts of whistleblower awards also broke records.
According to a recent report issued by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), international efforts to tackle bribery have increased dramatically since the implementation of the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (OECD Anti-Bribery Convention) in 1997. The OECD's report on its analysis of more than 400 cases in 41 countries highlights these efforts with insights into how, where and to whom bribes are being paid and how such crimes are being sanctioned.
Information sharing allows for better insight into existing threats and vulnerabilities and alerts organizations to the existence of important data that can help prevent cyberattacks and mitigate the effects of ongoing attacks. Yet, concerns about civil liability or the use of such information by government regulators often prevents organizations from sharing data when an attack occurs. As data breaches grow more common and cybercriminals become more sophisticated, however, many organizations are putting aside such concerns and collaborating with others to develop methods that allow them to safely share information and use it against cybercriminals.
In a clear example of what not to do under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a simple and avoidable mistake turned into almost $1 million in liability for an employer accused of firing an employee for sleeping on the job. A federal jury recently awarded $921,657 to a former police officer, who previously was diagnosed with sleep apnea, after his city employer fired him for insubordination, unprofessional behavior and other non-discriminatory reasons. Unfortunately, the city also cited the officer's disability as one of the reasons for his termination.
The recent arrest of a New York restaurant owner for failing to pay her employees minimum wage and overtime pay highlights the aggressive efforts currently used to enforce employment laws like the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Both state and federal regulators have been increasingly willing to add jail time for employers who seek to cut costs by avoiding overtime requirements or misclassifying employees.
Irregular accounting practices and a corresponding £263 million — approximately $423 million — in overstated profits were recently revealed at one of Britain's largest supermarket chains, sending company shares plummeting and prompting an investigation by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Brought to light by a whistleblower in the company's accounting department, the scandal has many questioning the quality of the retailer's governance and pointing to an improper culture under the company's former chief executive.
On November 17, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it had sanctioned two former sales employees in the Dubai office of FLIR Systems Inc., a U.S.-based defense contractor, for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The individuals gave five Saudi Arabian officials expensive luxury watches and paid for officials’ personal travel as part of their efforts to obtain lucrative contracts for FLIR with the Saudi government. Without admitting the SEC’s findings, the individuals agreed to pay financial penalties of $50,000 and $20,000.
Efforts to legalize marijuana secured major victories last Election Day when voters in Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C. approved laws allowing for the recreational use of a plant previously touted as the "evil weed" by the U.S. government.
With concerns of the spread of Ebola in the workplace still on the rise, employers must take care to address anxieties properly to avoid violations of employment laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Preventing Discrimination and Harassment. Thomson Reuters Accelus developed the following infographic to help employers navigate the road to a compliant and healthy workplace.