General Business Civil Rights

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on General Business issues written by leading professionals.
News & Analysis as of

New CA Law Requires Disclosing Known ADA Violations During Lease Negotiations

Seyfarth Synopsis: In yet another effort to reduce ADA lawsuits, California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law – effective immediately – legislation to encourage tenants and landlords to acknowledge and address any...more

E.D. Wisconsin: SOX Does Not Protect Whistleblower Complaints Based On Immaterial, Routine Events

On August 25, 2016, the Eastern District of Wisconsin granted the Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment on its former CEO’s SOX whistleblower claim. The court ruled that Plaintiff’s complaint to the Board of Directors did...more

SEC Issues Another Multi-Million Dollar Whistleblower Award

Less than one month after issuing a $22 million award, the SEC issued another multi-million dollar whistleblower award on September 20, 2016. The SEC’s most recent award exceeded $4 million. The SEC issued its typical...more

SDNY Awards Front Pay in Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Retaliation Case

Perez v. Progenics Pharmaceuticals, Inc., involved a case where Plaintiff Perez drafted a memo to Progenics’ general counsel and his department head, accusing Progenics of committing fraud by publishing a false press release...more

SEC Takes Aim at Anti-Whistleblower Employment Agreements

On Aug. 15, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued its second fine in six days to an employer for drafting severance agreements that restricted former employees from collecting awards as whistleblowers. The fines...more

Investment Funds Update - Europe - Legal and regulatory updates for the funds industry from the key asset management centres and...

BaFin Plans to Prohibit Retail Distribution of Credit-Linked Notes - BaFin announced on its website that the regulator intends to prohibit the marketing, distribution and sale of credit-linked notes...more

CFTC Proposes Rules to Align with SEC Whistleblower Program

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) proposed amendments last month to the regulations governing its whistleblower bounty program. A number of the changes are aimed at more closely aligning the CFTC’s...more

California Employment Law Notes - September 2016

Ninth Circuit Strikes Down Employer's Class Action Waiver - Morris v. Ernst & Young, LLP, 2016 WL 4433080 (9th Cir. 2016) - As a condition of employment, Stephen Morris and Kelly McDaniel were required to sign...more

SEC Fines Company for Agreements Restricting Whistleblowers

The SEC has fined an Atlanta company $265,000 for using various severance agreements restricting whistleblower activities. The Dodd-Frank Act added ’34 Act § 21F encouraging whistleblower programs. The SEC adopted Rule...more

Anti-SLAPP Applies to Concealment Claim

Suarez v. Trigg Laboratories Inc., Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 4, California, September 7, 2016, Case No. B26511 - The California Court of Appeal for the Second District holds that anti-SLAPP statute...more

CFTC Proposes New Amendments to its Whistleblower Rules

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC” or the “Commission”) has proposed numerous amendments to the Whistleblower Rules found in Part 165 of the CFTC’s Regulations. The Commission seeks to enhance the process...more

Agencies Provide Information on Self-Assessments for Diversity Policies and Practices

The federal banking agencies (the “Agencies”) have provided information explaining how regulated financial institutions may begin to submit self-assessments of their diversity policies and practices as of year-end 2015. The...more

CFTC Proposes to Amend Whistleblower Rules to Provide Anti-Retaliation Enforcement Authority

The CFTC has proposed amendments to its whistleblower rules that reinterpret its anti-retaliation authority and proposes appropriate rule amendments to implement that authority. When the CFTC initially adopted its...more

SEC Issues $22 Million Whistleblower Award

On August 30, 2016, the SEC issued a $22 million whistleblower bounty award to an individual “whose detailed tip and extensive assistance helped the agency halt a well-hidden fraud” at the whistleblower’s employer. The Acting...more

SEC Awards Culpable Whistleblower $22 Million

The SEC announced the award of more than $22 million to a whistleblower whose detailed tip and extensive assistance helped the agency halt a well-hidden fraud at the company where the whistleblower worked. The $22...more

Recent SEC Enforcement Actions Prompt Consideration of Whistleblower Carve-outs

The recent settlement of SEC enforcement actions concerning the Dodd Frank Act’s whistleblower provisions are prompting companies and their counsels to evaluate current and prospective severance and confidentiality agreements...more

Hallmark 8-Confidential Reporting and Internal Investigations

The FCPA Guidance has about as clear, concise and short a statement about hotlines than any other Tenet of an Effective Compliance Program. It states, “An effective compliance program should include a mechanism for an...more

2016 Legislative Update: Summary of Changes in School Law

BOARDS OF EDUCATION - ENFORCEMENT OF BINDING PUBLIC ACCESS COUNSELOR OPINIONS - Public Act 99-586 - Effective Date: January 1, 2017 - Individuals who file lawsuits to enforce binding opinions from the PAC...more

Employment Law - August 2016

Arbitrator or Judge? California Supreme Court Weighs in - Why it matters - Yet again, the California Supreme Court considered arbitration in the context of an employment agreement, this time reflecting on whether a...more

EEOC Sues Midwest Freight Systems for Breach of Mediation Agreement

Company Refused to Honor Agreement to Pay Monetary Relief to Charging Party, Federal Agency Charges - DETROIT - Midwest Freight Systems Corporation, a freight transportation company with headquarters in Warren, Mich.,...more

EEO-1 Reports: Time for Employers to Get in Formation

This is the time of year when employers with 100 or more employees and federal contractors with 50 or more employees must prepare and file their annual EEO-1 reports – documents that provide the government with details...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 Takes Aim at Anti-Whistleblower Employment Agreements

On August 15, 2016, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued its second fine in six days to a health insurer for allegedly creating severance agreements that illegally restrict former employees from collecting...more

Public Companies to Revise Employee Confidentiality and Severance Provisions

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued two Cease and Desist Orders that dramatically change the landscape for employee contractual confidentiality provisions, as well as for employee waiver and release...more

Standard Severance Agreements May Need to Be Revised

Many employers offer severance agreements to departing employees which, at least in part, are designed to protect the employer from disclosures of confidential information and from any future claims or recovery by the...more

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