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Five on Friday – Five Recent Developments that We’ve Been Watching Closely: August 2016 #2

It’s Friday and time for another overview of developments in the field of business and human rights that we’ve been monitoring....more

You May Not Stack the Deck: SEC Announces Penalties Against Companies Requiring Employees to Waive Whistleblower Protections to...

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) recently announced that two companies agreed to pay penalties of more than $500,000, combined, for illegally requiring employees to waive their rights to monetary awards from the...more

What Makes A 401(k) Plan A Target For Litigation

I’ve always been a big fan of 1970’s cinema and one forgotten classic is The Sting, starring Paul Newman, Robert Redford, and Robert Shaw. The title to the movie refers to the exact moment when the con artist finishes the...more

SEC Cracks Down On Anti-Whistleblower Severance Agreements

The federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued six-figure fines to two different employers in the past several weeks, claiming that each crafted restrictive severance agreements that violated agency rules...more

E&C Training: Signs of Progress, But Challenges Remain

Ethics and compliance training is taking many positive strides, with companies focused on building ethical cultures and preventing crises before they happen. But there’s still a distance to go, as well, amid persistent budget...more

IRS Guidance on Section 457: What Non-Profit and Governmental Employers Need to Know (Part 2)

We're back with the second installment in our series on the IRS's Section 457 proposed rules. The first alert covered Section 457(f) basics and discussed the meaning of "deferred" compensation....more

Bridging the Week - August 2016 #3

Another Publicly Traded Firm Sanctioned by SEC For Allegedly Undercutting Whistleblower Protections Through Severance Agreements: Health Net, Inc., a formerly publicly traded company whose securities were registered with the...more

Companies Should Revisit Severance and Other Agreements as the SEC Steps Up Enforcement Actions to Protect Whistleblower Rights

In less than one week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced enforcement actions against two companies that had required their departing employees to waive their rights to any monetary recovery under the...more

Changes to Transferring Employment Contracts in France After the 8 August Law - Des transferts de contrats de travail: les apports...

When a service provider in a market changes, employment contracts may be transferred from the previous to the new owner to avoid dismissing employees who work at the site, however, whatever the legal vehicle by which the...more

Update: Another SEC Enforcement Action on Whistleblower Waivers and Releases

Summary - Earlier this month, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its second significant enforcement action against an employer based on confidentiality and release provisions that the SEC asserts...more

SEC Targets Employment Agreements Requiring Waiver of Whistleblower Awards

The SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower continues to examine employee severance, settlement and confidentiality agreements for language that might chill reporting of securities violations to the SEC and other regulators. The...more

Proposals for Employee representation at board level in UK companies

Theresa May, and latterly Owen Smith, have both announced their intention to put employees on company boards. Employee representation on company boards in Europe is commonplace and speculation is rife as to what model either...more

5 Things Compliance Executives Need their Boards to Know

Boards of directors (or their delegated committees) typically allocate very little time to oversight of an organization’s ethics and compliance program during their packed board agendas. It is not at all unusual for the top...more

Two New SEC Orders Further Limit Employers' Ability to Secure Employee Releases and the Breadth of Confidentiality Agreements

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued two orders challenging employee confidentiality agreements and indicating that companies must not condition employees’ receipt of severance payments and other...more

A lifeboat with conditions: new guidance from the PPF

The Pension Protection Fund (“PPF”) has updated its approach to employer restructuring guidance and its general guidance for restructuring and insolvency professionals. These documents set out certain criteria that should be...more

Getting Past “Not Horrible”: Addressing Office Bullies is Good for the Bottom Line

A Dallas jury recently awarded a verdict of more than a million dollars to a vocational nurse based upon her claims of sexual harassment and intentional infliction of emotional distress. While it appears that verdict will not...more

Redux - federal agencies attack employment agreements, and what you can do about it: 8 steps to consider

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” - Reading advance sheets often brings the closing line from The Great Gatsby to mind.  Our alert from April 2015 is being rerun in full...more

IRS Issues Drafts of Forms 1094-C, 1095-B and 1095-C for 2016

Last month, the IRS issued proposed changes to the ACA reporting and disclosure forms for 2016. As a reminder, Forms 1094-B and 1095-B are used by insurance providers to report on the number of individuals enrolled in health...more

SEC Finds Certain Separation Agreement Provisions Unlawful Under Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Rule

Twice in the past two weeks, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) issued a cease-and-desist order settling proceedings against companies for using confidentiality and waiver of claims provisions in...more

SEC Enforcement Actions May Require Changes to Severance Agreements

Public companies should revisit their template severance agreements, in light of two recent orders by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Standard severance clauses covering (1) confidential information and (2)...more

How Much Is A Whistleblower Waiver Really Worth?

The Securities and Exchange Commission is aggressively interpreting and enforcing its rule against impeding whistleblowers. Rule 21F-17(a) provides...more

SEC Settlements Put Severance Agreements Under Increased Scrutiny

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently announced settlements with two companies for using severance agreements that allegedly violated Rule 21F-17. Rule 21F-17 provides that “[n]o person may take any action...more

Private Company Employee Stock Sales Highlight Hidden Dangers of Compliance Failures

We noted with interest the latest moves by some Bay Area tech giants to permit their employees to sell restricted stock to help them realize the stock value as part of their compensation: See New York Times reporting here. ...more

How Ricoh USA, Inc. Reaped the Benefits of Expanded Hotline Reporting

Today's post features guest author Jami Segota, Vice President & Assistant General Counsel, Employment Law from Ricoh USA, Inc. Learn how Ricoh turned their ethics and compliance program into a powerful cross-departmental...more

What 401(k) Plan Sponsors Shouldn’t Forget

It’s easy to forget things. Heck, half of the things my wife tells me to do is forgotten by the afternoon. My wife often suggests that I keep a list of things I need to do so I don’t forget. Of course, I forget to keep lists....more

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