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SEC to Address Board Diversity

In a recent speech, SEC Chair Mary Jo White addressed board diversity. Chair White cited some important statistics in her remarks. She noted that minority directors on boards of the top 200 companies on the S&P 500 have...more

Mind the (Pay) Gap: Investor Requests for Reports on Gender Pay Disparities Are on the Rise

According to media reports, this year several high-profile companies, including Apple, Facebook, and Intel, have received or responded to proposals from investors requesting shareholder votes on the issue of whether the...more

Five on Friday – Five Recent Developments that We’ve Been Watching Closely - April 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

Maloney Introduces Board Gender Diversity Bill

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney introduced HR 4718, which would require that the SEC establish a Gender Diversity Advisory Group. The Group would be responsible for studying and making recommendations to the Commission on...more

Board Diversity

A group of Democratic Congressmen wrote to Chair White urging the Securities and Exchange Commission to take action to consider additional disclosure requirements...more

In Case You Missed It: Launch Links - February 2016 #2

Some interesting links we found across the web this week: Newest VCs: 7-Eleven, Vitamin Shoppe, JetBlue Airways launch venture operations - Looking for a one-stop shop for slurpees and early stage investment?...more

GAO Publishes Report on Gender Diversity of Corporate Boards

On December 3, 2015, the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) published its report analyzing the history of gender diversity of U.S. corporate boards and provided recommendations for improving female board...more

Blog: House Hearing On Conflict Minerals Rule: A Mixed Bag

At a hearing last week before a subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee, the members heard testimony regarding the Dodd-Frank conflict minerals provision. The Chair expressed concern that the provision was...more

World Exchanges Encouraged to Report Indicators of Long-Term Sustainability

On November 4th, the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) released a set of 34 sustainability measures that include environmental, social and governance indicators. WFE recommends that its member exchanges implement these...more

Business Litigation Alert: "Court Ruling Allows Whistleblower to Sue Board Members"

A recent ruling in California federal court (here) broadens legal protections for whistleblowers and expands who can be held liable in retaliation cases. In the case, Wadler v. Bio-Rad Labs., Inc., a federal judge ruled that...more

California Federal Court Expands Whistleblower Protections

What you need to know: Last week, the Northern District of California held in Wadler v. Bio-Rad Laboratories, a case of first impression, that members of a company’s Board of Directors can be held individually liable...more

Employment Law - October 2015

FTC Offers Employers Lesson in FCRA Compliance—And Limited Exceptions - Why it matters: A California employer recently received a lesson in Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) compliance from the Federal Trade...more

Agencies Issue Final Policy Statement for Complying With Dodd-Frank Section 342: What You Should Know

Six federal banking agencies recently published a final interagency policy statement establishing standards for assessing diversity policies and practices. The final standards, which became effective June 10, 2015, were...more

Das Gesetz zur Quote tritt in Kraft

Nach der auch öffentlich lebhaft geführten Debatte um die Quote und der Vielzahl an Änderungen und Modifikationen im Rahmen des Gesetzgebungsverfahrens ist der finale Gesetzestext nunmehr in Kraft getreten. Viele Unternehmen...more

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

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

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

The Sky Was Falling Legislative Update February 2015

This week in Raleigh the sky was falling! – well it was snowing! The news in Raleigh was dominated by snow and ice and skeleton sessions and empty calendars. However there were a few items of interest: Fee...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

Senators Pass Gender Diversity Resolution – Have They Read Ecclesiazusae?

In late August, the California Senate approved SCR 62 which encourages “equitable and diverse gender representation on corporate boards”. The resolution also urges...more

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