Labor & Employment General Business Securities

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Investment Management Update - October 2016

Investment Adviser AXA Wins Excessive Fee Trial - A federal judge in New Jersey has ruled in favor of AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company (AXA Equitable) and its wholly owned subsidiary, AXA Equitable Funds Management...more

Mutual Fund Sales by Intermediaries – Fall-Out from DOL Fiduciary Rule and FINRA Enforcement

Mutual fund sales and distribution arrangements are once again under review. It has been reported that fund intermediaries are re-examining their practices relating to sales charges, share class structures and product...more

Additional SEC Guidance on Pay Ratio Disclosure

As issuers prepare for the pay ratio disclosures that will be required with respect to fiscal years beginning on or after January 1, 2017, the Division of Corporation Finance issued new Compliance & Disclosure Interpretations...more

Transactions Update: Purchase Price or Compensation

Purchase Price v. Compensation - ..Companies are choosing to stay private significantly longer than the vesting period for stock options ..Recent proposals by private companies to buy back stock from current and...more

SEC’s 2016 Activity Breaks Enforcement and Whistleblower Records

Earlier this month, the SEC (the “Agency”) announced that it initiated a record-breaking 868 enforcement actions in fiscal year 2016. This figure – along with other milestones – reflect the Agency’s commitment to expanding...more

SEC Exams Looking for Whistleblower Violations

SEC staff in the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations are examining compliance with key whistleblower provisions arising out of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The staff is...more

Countries at a Glance 2016: United States - Employee Stock Purchase Plans

EMPLOYEE STOCK PURCHASE PLANS - EMPLOYEE STOCK PURCHASE PLANS: EMPLOYMENT - Labor Concerns - A claim for breach of contract could arise where a Plan is amended or discontinued. It is recommended that Plan...more

"SEC Staff Issues Interpretive Guidance on Pay Ratio Rules"

On October 18, 2016, the staff of the Division of Corporation Finance (Staff) of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued interpretive guidance on the pay ratio disclosure requirements in Item 402(u) of...more

Your Daily Dose of Financial News

For a start-up looking to unseat Bloomberg as the go-to insider source for financial news [other than this blog, of course], there’s a surefire way to gain some instant credibility: hire one of Bloomberg’s former top execs,...more

SEC directs specific communication to employees regarding whistleblowing

In many investigations, whether internal or in response to government inquiries, employers may take action to terminate employees. A recent US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) resolution in the context of the US...more

Compensation and Benefits Insights – September 2016 #2

Hardly Water Under the Bridge: NLRB, SEC, OSHA Mount Offensive Against Confidentiality Agreements - A recent New York Times story shed light on complaints by an employee of Bridgewater Associates, a $154 billion hedge...more

Small Business Securities Bulletin: Standard Confidentiality Provisions May Be Prohibited "Pretaliation" in Eyes of SEC

As we discussed in our June 2011 Bulletin, available here, SEC rules promulgated under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (Exchange Act), pursuant to Section 21F thereunder as enacted by the Dodd-Frank Wall...more

Issuer Reporting and Disclosure Remains Focus of SEC and Other Regulators

In a recent speech, SEC Enforcement Director Andrew Ceresney confirmed the SEC’s continued pursuit of investigations and enforcement actions relating to issuer reporting and disclosure, an area that remains a high priority...more

SEC Brings Second Whistleblower Retaliation Case

The SEC has brought its second case for retaliation against a whistleblower against International Game Technology. According to the SEC, the whistleblower, a director of an IGT division, started working at IGT in 2008 and...more

Proskauer Joins Heads of SEC & OSHA Whistleblower Programs in Webinar

On September 27, 2016, Proskauer Partner Steven J. Pearlman, co-head of the Whistleblowing & Retaliation Practice Group, participated in a Bloomberg webinar with Jane Norberg, Acting Chief of the SEC Office of the...more

This Cold Bud Is For You: SEC Sanctions Anheuser-Busch for “Chilling” Employee from Communicating with SEC

On September 28, 2016, the SEC announced that Anheuser-Busch agreed to pay $6 million to settle charges of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Dodd-Frank whistleblower violations. The SEC’s order stated that AB InBev violated...more

Your 401(k) Plan "Brokerage Window" May Require An S-8 Registration

New guidance from the Securities Exchange Commission requires issuers to take a fresh look at their 401(k) plans. On September 22, 2016, the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance released a Compliance and Disclosure...more

How the DOL’s Impartial Conduct Standard Affects Exemptions Used by Financial Services Companies

In conjunction with its issuance in April 2016 of a new regulation redefining the concept of “investment advice” for purposes of fiduciary status under ERISA and Section 4975 of the Code, the Department of Labor amended a...more

OSHA Increases Scrutiny of Whistleblower Settlement Agreements

Following the SEC’s lead, OSHA recently announced new guidelines that it will consider when deciding whether to approve settlement agreements reached during OSHA investigations of whistleblower claims....more

SDNY Refuses to Dismiss Executive’s Dodd-Frank Retaliation Claim

On August 24, 2016, the Southern District of New York denied Defendants’ motion to dismiss a Dodd-Frank whistleblower retaliation claim brought by its former co-CEO and Executive Chairman of its Board of Directors, finding...more

OSHA Addresses Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Releases

We have written about SEC enforcement actions related to severance and confidentiality agreements that restrict reporting matters to the SEC. OSHA has also issued guidance regarding settlement agreements with whistleblowers...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

California’s New Fee Disclosure Law For Public Pension Plans Investing In Alternative Investment Vehicles

On September 14, 2016, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill intended to provide transparency with respect to fees and expenses paid by California public pension or retirement systems (“PPPs”) to private...more

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