General Business Civil Rights

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SEC Announces Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Award for Compliance Professional

On Wednesday, April 22nd, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it had awarded approximately $1.5 million to a whistleblower who had served as a compliance officer of the company about which he blew the...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

The Employment Law Authority - March/April 2015 #2

In This Issue: - Supreme Court Revives Pregnant UPS Worker's Suit - Spouses of H-1B Visa Holders Applying for Residency Eligible for Work Permits - Turning Metrics Into Money: An Interview With Solange Charas,...more

California Non-Compete Update: No Re-Hire Provisions May be in Jeopardy, Especially for Large Employers

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently sent a case back to a district court to revisit its enforcement of a settlement agreement that prohibited an employee from future employment with the employer and any company the...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

SEC Awards Compliance Officer Whistleblower Bounty of Approximately $1.5 Million

Wednesday, the SEC announced that it would pay an unidentified compliance officer a whistleblower bounty award of between $1.4 and $1.6 million. This is the second award that the SEC has made to a whistleblower with internal...more

California Transparency in Supply Chain Act Update

On April 13, 2015, California Attorney General Kamala Harris issued “A Resource Guide” for companies subject to California’s Transparency in the Supply Chain Act (the “Act”). This resource guide was published in conjunction...more

Employment Law - April 2015

To Accommodate or Not to Accommodate? U.S. Supreme Court Weighs in on Pregnant Employees - Why it matters: The U.S. Supreme Court decided the first of two major employment law cases this term when a 6-3 majority of...more

California’s Anti-Bullying Statute – What is the Effect of Non-Compliance?

By now, California employers should be aware of the “antibullying” law, which became effective on the first of this year. The statute is a compromise between employee rights groups seeking expansion of existing “harassment”...more

From Hiring To Firing: A Basic Guide To The Chinese Employment Law Life Cycle

HIRING - For many employers, the key to having a productive and high-performing workforce is recruiting the right people to start with. However, it is important for employers to be aware that even before an employee...more

New York City Council Passes Ground-Breaking Legislation Limiting the Use of Credit Checks in Employment

On April 16, 2015, the New York City Council, by a vote of 47-3, approved legislation that would prohibit the use of credit checks in employment decisions except in limited circumstances. The bill, which is expected to be...more

China Update - April 2015

In This Issue: - Quote of the Week - U.S.-China Relations - Trade - Energy & Environment - Excerpt from Quote of the Week: “The Asia-Pacific region – and you know the U.S. is a Pacific power – is...more

Relaxed Cuban Sanctions Change the Landscape of the Financial Services Industry

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) published new federal regulations permitting certain types of previously prohibited transactions. Financial services organizations hoping to gain a foothold into the Cuban financial...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

Should You Sharpen Your Diversity Policies & Practices under Dodd-Frank Mandates?

The much-publicized Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 became effective on August 12, 2011. Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Act, requiring the implementation of diversity practices for both...more

EEOC Consent Decrees are its Most Powerful Enforcement Mechanisms

The vast majority of settlements between an employer and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) take the form of a court-approved consent decree. This document is a public record designed to highlight and...more

SEC Assault on Employee Confidentiality Agreements

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced an enforcement action against KBR, Inc., alleging that a form of confidentiality agreement used in internal investigations violated an SEC whistleblower rule. To...more

SEC Blows the Whistle on Confidentiality Agreements

Thanks to a recent enforcement action brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), it may be time to review and revise the confidentiality provisions in employment agreements, severance agreements, employee...more

Implied Rights in Whistleblower Policies: What DC’s Latest Ruling Means for Employers

On March 18, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled on a motion to dismiss in a case that will have potentially serious consequences for D.C. employers that include written whistleblower and other...more

New York Federal Court Applies New York City Human Rights Law’s Liability Provision to Employer’s Agent

The New York City Human Rights Law specifically says that an employer’s agent can be held liable for discrimination, but its liability provision doesn’t address the circumstances under which that agent may be held liable for...more

In-House Counsel Risk SEC Enforcement for Some Confidentiality Agreements - Following Best Practices as Part of a Comprehensive...

Confidentiality agreements are boilerplate in many legal departments, but they shouldn't be. In-house counsel need to review all currently effective confidentiality agreements with anyone who could potentially be a...more

Increased Governmental Scrutiny for Employee Confidentiality Restrictions

Employers should be aware of recent federal agency activity that may require modifications to employee confidentiality agreements. The federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a press release on April 1, 2015,...more

Is Your Confidentiality Agreement a Ticking Time Bomb? SEC’s First Action Over Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Protections Targets...

For the first time in the nearly five years since Dodd-Frank went into effect, the SEC last week took action against a company over concerns that the company was preventing its employees from potentially blowing the whistle...more

SEC Challenges Employee Confidentiality Agreements

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently announced that it brought (and resolved) an enforcement action against a company for allegedly discouraging whistleblower complaints by requiring employees to sign...more

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