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The Pension Case: The State’s Reply Brief

In their reply brief in the Public Pension Reform Act appeal, the State immediately zeroes in on what it perceives as the central difficulty of the plaintiffs’ position: the trial court’s conclusion that the Pension...more

Federal Wage Claims? That's The Easy Part!

Retailers are all too familiar with collective actions filed under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) making claims for unpaid overtime based on alleged misclassification of employees as exempt, working off the clock, or not...more

SEC Proposes Dodd-Frank Hedging Policy Disclosure Rules

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently released long-awaited proposed rules, as mandated by Section 955 of the Dodd-Frank Act, that would require a public company to disclose whether the company permits its...more

New York AG Set to Propose Whistleblower Legislation

On February 26, New York AG Eric Schneiderman announced that he intends to propose state legislation to reward and protect employees who report information about misconduct in the banking, insurance, and financial services...more

Tax Policy Update

NUMBER OF THE WEEK: $42,268. The projected average taxable income of all tax returns in 2015, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation’s Feb. 27 report on “Fairness and Tax Policy.” The report also projects that the top...more

SEC May Seek Companies’ Agreements to Determine Whistleblower Treatment

The SEC continues to focus on its whistleblower initiative. According to a February 25 Wall Street Journal article titled “SEC Probes Companies’ Treatment of Whistleblowers,” the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission...more

ISS Issues FAQs on Proxy Voting Policies Regarding Bylaw and Charter Amendments Adopted Without Shareholder Approval

Existing (ISS) voting policy is to recommend against the election of boards of directors if charter or bylaw amendments were enacted without shareholder approval and in a manner that materially diminishes shareholders’ rights...more

SEC Continues to Investigate Contractual Impediments to Whistleblower Complaints

As Rachel Louise Ensign reported earlier this week in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) continues to probe obstacles to corporate employees blowing the whistle. This...more

Blog: Institutional Investors Speak Out On Proxy Access And Conflicting Proposals

Earlier this month, the SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee devoted part of its agenda to the topic of proxy access and the much debated Rule 14a-8(i)(9), which permits companies to exclude shareholder proposals from their...more

SEC Timeout on Proxy Access Issue Has Wider Implications

On January 16, 2015, the SEC withdrew its December 1, 2014 no-action letter in which it concurred with the view of Whole Foods Market, Inc. that the company was entitled under SEC Rule 14a-8(i)(9) to exclude from its proxy...more

SEC Proposes Rules Requiring Disclosure of Hedging by Employees, Officers, and Directors

On February 9, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) issued proposed rules to implement Section 955 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, requiring disclosure of whether an...more

Highlights From SEC Speaks 2015

Securities and Exchange Commission leadership and staff members addressed the public on February 20-21 at the annual “SEC Speaks” conference in Washington, D.C. Common themes among the numerous presentations included the...more

Are We Closer to Fixing the Proxy Voting System?

The integrity of the shareholder vote is a cornerstone of shareholder democracy for public companies. Shareholders’ ability to “have their say” is exercised at shareholder meetings largely through proxy voting, which is a...more

Employers Running Background Checks: Top 10 Tips to Avoid Joining the Fair Credit Reporting Act Litigation “Club”

What do Whole Foods, Chuck E. Cheese, Michael’s Stores, Dollar General, Panera, Publix, and K-Mart have in common? Each of these companies has faced lawsuits (including class actions) under the Fair Credit Reporting Act...more

Blog: Speakers Comment On Exclusion Of Shareholder Proposals As False And Misleading, Rule 14a-8(i)(3)

At the PLI conference on February 10, Corp Fin Director Keith Higgins, while focusing primarily on the issue du jour of Rule 14a-8(i)(9), the rule that permits companies to exclude from their proxy statements shareholder...more

Small Business Securities Bulletin: SEC Proposes Disclosure Rules on Director and Employee Hedging

Last week the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed amendments to its rules and forms, as required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank), that would require SEC reporting...more

ISS Speaks: Proxy Access, Fee Shifting By-laws and More

ISS has published its policy on proxy access matters. ISS will generally recommend in favor of management and shareholder proposals for proxy access with the following provisions...more

SEC Proposes Rules for Disclosure of Hedging by Employees, Officers, and Directors

Boards of Directors of companies subject to the federal proxy rules should take note of proposed rules released by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on February 9, 2015 that would enhance corporate disclosure of...more

U.S. Supreme Court Describes “Ordinary Principles of Contract Law”

In a contract governed by federal law, does “The End” really mean “The End”? Some federal courts have said “no,” but the U.S. Supreme Court has just said “yes.” ...more

Supreme Court Rejects Sixth Circuit’s Yard-Man Inferences in M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett

In M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, 135 S. Ct. 935 (2015), the Supreme Court of the United States addressed the interpretation of collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) that include post-retirement welfare benefits, such as...more

Blog: Survey: Institutional Investors Want Return Of 25-Page Proxy Statements

Let’s reconsider: is it really necessary – or even useful – to have a proxy statement for an ordinary annual meeting that exceeds 100 pages in length? Does responsibility for bloated proxy statements lie with legislators and...more

SEC’s Rule 14a-8 Volte-Face Is Pointlessly Outré But It Does Have Real World Ramifications

Readers may recall that last December Whole Foods Market, Inc. had secured the SEC staff’s concurrence in excluding a shareholder access proposal submitted by Jim McRitchie. Then, SEC Chair Mary Jo White directed the staff...more

SEC Proposes New Rule Requiring Disclosure of Equity Hedging Policies

On February 9, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed a long-awaited rule under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that would require public companies to disclose certain...more

SEC Proposes Hedging Disclosure Rule

On February 9, the SEC issued a proposed rule implementing Section 955 of the Dodd-Frank Act. The rule would require directors, officers, and other employees of public companies to disclose in proxy and information statements...more

SEC Proposes Disclosure Rule for Company Hedging Policies

On February 9, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) proposed a rule to enhance disclosure of company hedging policies for directors, officers and other employees. This proposal would implement Section 955 of...more

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