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SEC Enforcement Gives Employers a Strong Incentive to Clarify That Their Confidentiality Agreements Do Not Preclude Reporting...

The Securities and Exchange Commission? (“SEC”) has resolved its first enforcement action regarding a potentially overreaching confidentiality agreement following the “voluntary” revision of the agreement to state that it...more

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

The US Securities and Exchange Commission recently caused shockwaves when it announced its first enforcement action against a company for using an allegedly improper confidentiality agreement during internal investigations....more

Beware of Confidentiality Agreements with Employees; Make Sure They Don’t Stifle Whistleblowing

On April 1, 2015, the SEC announced its first enforcement action against a company for utilizing language in a confidentiality agreement which could discourage whistleblowing....more

Seller of Business is Special Circumstance That Justified Termination Following Expiration of Contract

When a small business is sold, the purchaser often agrees to hire the former owner. The buyer wants to retain the seller’s expertise and experience, and the salary paid to the seller can make up part of the purchase price....more

In Case You Missed It - Interesting Items for Corporate Counsel - April 2015

We knew someone would do this for us if we just waited long enough. A summary of early trends in proxy access responses suggests most are including the shareholder proposal and recommending a no vote. See here. Only a single...more

How to Conduct Internal Investigations Outside the United States

Think of a U.S.-headquartered multinational when it receives an allegation of serious misconduct at one of its overseas operations. Maybe the company whistleblower hotline just got a tip that a secretary in the Buenos Aires...more

Weekly Update Newsletter - April 2015

GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS - GSA and HHS Issue a Notice Regarding Conducting a National Dialogue To Reduce Reporting Compliance Costs for Federal Contractors and Grantees - The General Services Administration (GSA)...more

Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act will not be used as a Tool for Discrimination

On April 2, 2015, the Indiana General Assembly passed, and the Governor signed, an amendment to the controversial new Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act ("Indiana RFRA") that explicitly prevents the statute from being...more

It’s Not Boilerplate Anymore: SEC Order Serves as Reminder to Carefully Consider Language Used in Employee Confidentiality...

The Securities and Exchange Commission instituted cease and desist proceedings against KBR, Inc. for the purpose of entering an agreed Cease and Desist Order which is likely to affect the drafting of all confidentiality...more

SEC Brings First Enforcement Action Targeting Language Contained in Confidentiality Agreements

As we reported in a previous post, “SEC Investigating Companies’ Employment Contracts That Restrict Whistleblowing,” the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been vocal about its concerns regarding the effects of...more

SEC Sends Message Via Enforcement Action: Don’t Stifle Employee Whistleblowing

US public companies and SEC regulated entities should re-examine their forms and policies. On April 1, 2015, the US Securities and Exchange Commission filed its first whistleblower protection case involving...more

Company Updates Code of Conduct after Ousting CEO for Sexual Harassment

Unethical leadership can be devastating for a company. For a large apparel company, the sexual misconduct of its ex-CEO has it scrambling to repair its image and prove it will no longer tolerate such behavior. The company...more

Employee's Case Dismissed After Suing Wrong Employer Defendant

Often times, employees name parent companies and other affiliated entities when suing their employers, seeking to hold responsible anyone and everyone who could possibly be construed to be the "employer" for the purposes of...more

February Whistleblower News Digest: Ethical Culture Builds Foundation of Your Whistleblower Hotline Program

Given the popularity of our FCPA Compliance Digest and the abundance of whistleblower-related news, here are the top whistleblower stories for February. Read on to the end for access to an exclusive resource to help you build...more

SEC: Whistleblower Protections Extend To Those Who Report Internally

A critical component of the SEC’s whistleblower program is the anti-retaliatory provisions of Exchange Act Section 21F, added to the statute by the Dodd-Frank Act. To implement that provision the Commission promulgated two...more

Labor & Employment E- Note - December 2014

In This Issue: - SCOTUS Says Firms Don't Have to Pay for Security Screening Time - EEOC Saw Decline in Discrimination Settlements, Number of Cases - HHS Closes Loophole Allowing Employers to Cut Hospital...more

The Supreme Court’s 'Non-Decision' On Same-Sex Marriage: The Impact On Employee Benefits After 'Windsor'

This is a rally call for employers to evaluate employee benefit plan documents for compliance....more

It’s All Over But the Shouting! What Do Employers Do Now That Gay Marriage Is Effectively Legal Everywhere?

By denying cert in seven cases covering five states, the Supreme Court effectively legalized gay marriage in most, if not all of the United States....more

Secretary of the Commonwealth Issues Notice of Three Proposed Constitutional Amendments

WE, the people of Pennsylvania, have been governed by five different iterations of the state constitution since December 12, 1787, the day of our statehood. Each of those versions is the product of a state constitutional...more

Act Now Advisory: Japanese Parent Company May Be Liable for Employment Decisions of Its US Subsidiary

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently decided a case that should be taken into consideration when Japanese (and other foreign-based) companies determine the level of active involvement that their parent...more

UK Supreme Court Says Members of Limited Liability Partnerships are Workers

Ruling implies that additional protections will be afforded to members of LLPs. The UK Supreme Court recently ruled that members of a limited liability partnership (an LLP) are workers for the purpose of protections...more

Rogue CFO III – Background Checks

Perform Background Checks. It seems obvious. Why would a company not want as much information about a candidate for its CFO position that it can legally obtain? But this oversight is common. Too many smaller companies hire...more

Your Partners Are Not Your Employees: Supreme Court Of Canada Clarifies The Application Of The Control/Dependency Test

In 2009, John McCormick, an equity partner in the law firm Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP (the “Firm”) filed a complaint with the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, alleging the Firm’s requirement that equity partners...more

Mandatory Retirement in Professional Services Firms

On May 22, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in McCormick v Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP. The Court found that John McCormick, an equity partner in Faskens, was not an employee for the purposes of the...more

The Joint-Employer Standard: Like All Good Things, Is It About To Meet Its End?

On May 12, the National Labor Relations Board issued a notice and call for amicus briefs to address whether the Board should maintain its existing joint-employer standard or adopt a new one. Notice and Invitation to File...more

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