Corporate Counsel

News & Analysis as of

Obama Executive Actions on Immigration – What Employers Should Know

On Nov. 20, 2014, President Obama announced a series of executive actions on immigration, which are outlined on the USCIS website and described in three memoranda issued by the Department of Homeland Security. These...more

Tools & Tips to Help Your Organization Create a Happy, Ethical & Compliant Holiday Season

If you have HR or ethics and compliance responsibilities in your organization, the annual escalation of risks during the holiday season often falls to you to manage. In this article we’ve compiled some practical steps you can...more

Despite settlement, EEOC continues and expands discrimination investigation

At this point, employers have become all too familiar with the new, aggressive enforcement agenda of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The agency’s systemic initiative to root out alleged discriminatory employment...more

Mental Health and the Workplace — Accommodations

Depression. Anxiety. Bipolar Disorder. These and similar mental health diagnoses may affect your boss, the CEO of your company, the head of HR, your assistant, two of your peer workers, or maybe even you....more

Actions Speak Louder than Words: Jury Awards $185 Million in Punitive Damages in Pregnancy Discrimination Suit

On November 17, 2014, a San Diego federal jury of five men and three women awarded Plaintiff Rosario Juarez $185 million dollars in punitive damages in her pregnancy discrimination lawsuit against her former employer AutoZone...more

Privacy Alert: Privacy Lessons Learned From Uber

It’s not just health care companies, credit card companies, or big box retailers that need to be careful when it comes to privacy. Any company collecting user data from mobile apps—including geolocation data, user address...more

Sixth Circuit Decision Confirms that Employers May Lawfully Choose Not to Hire a Job Applicant with a Prior History as a False...

Some employers in the health care and other industries who regularly deal with the federal government and are subject to the False Claims Act (“FCA”) have felt helpless in trying to weed out serial whistleblowers in the...more

The FCPA Guidance: Still Going Strong at Two

One of the great things about Sunday afternoon is that Mike Volkov posts his Monday blog, when I usually have time to read it when I get the email notification that it is up. Yesterday he wished the Department of Justice’s...more

Should Watersheds Have Standing? Should Corporations?

In his seminal essay in 1972, Christopher Stone famously asked “Should Trees Have Standing?” Apart from Justice Douglas’s dissent in Sierra Club v. Morton, the idea has never gained much traction, at least in United States...more

‘Going Postal’ Over Data Breach Response: Union Files Failure-to-Bargain Charge With NLRB Against USPS

As recent high-profile cyberattacks have demonstrated, employers have a duty to protect their employees’ electronically stored personal information from being accessed by hackers, and to promptly remedy any breach in security...more

Considerations for Employee Benefit Programs That Benefit Employers and Employees

Employers must compete in the marketplace for talented employees at every level—both in recruitment and retention. It is thus in employers’ best interests to provide employee benefit plans that are attractive to employees and...more

Emotional Support Animals: Access or No Access to Public Accommodations?

A recent article in The New Yorker (“PETS ALLOWED: Why are so many animals now in places where they shouldn’t be?” October 20, 2014) highlights the disconnect between perception and reality when businesses must deal with...more

Mainstream Wellness Program Challenged in EEOC v. Honeywell

Despite promulgating a paucity of guidance on what constitutes a “voluntary medical exam” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), on October 27, 2014, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”)...more

2014 Global Ethics Benchmarking Report Reveals Workplace Retaliation On The Rise

We recently released our 2014 Global Ethics Benchmarking Report, an annual report that contains a thorough analysis of the previous five years of whistleblower hotline reporting data, that gives the market insight into...more

Employee Fired for Working Additional Hours Eligible for UC Benefits Despite Prior Warning

In a recent unreported decision, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court considered a part-time employee's eligibility for Unemployment Compensation ("UC") benefits after she was fired for disregarding her employer's prior...more

Conflict Minerals: D.C. Circuit to Reconsider Conflict Minerals Ruling; Initiatives Proceed in the European Union and China

Recent developments in the U.S., European Union and China underscore the dynamic nature of evolving supply chain due diligence requirements and expectations for companies sourcing tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold. The...more

Tax Court Characterizes Technology Executive’s Merger Proceeds as Ordinary Income

On October 30th, the U.S. Tax Court ruled that a key executive of a technology company acquired by Google for $93 million was required to report a large portion of his merger consideration as ordinary compensation income....more

Wait for the "Green" Light Before Making Environmentally Friendly Claims

Consumers increasingly pay a premium for environmentally friendly products. As a result, companies are expanding their green marketing claims regarding products and packaging. Those companies may find themselves under...more

Hackers Don’t Care About the Terms of Your Insurance Policy - The Importance of Retroactive Dates and Extended Reporting Periods...

A recent study reports that the median amount of time between an intrusion into a company’s computer network and the discovery of the incident is 229 days. The difficulty and length of time in detecting cyber infiltrations...more

Recent Changes in US Immigration Processes and Technology

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has implemented changes recently that affect many individuals seeking to travel to the United States, US employers of H-1B and L-1 workers, and users of some USCIS services. This...more

Job Applicant Denied Whistleblower Protection in Sixth Circuit

Job applicants lack standing to bring whistleblower retaliation claims under the False Claims Act (FCA) and the Energy Reorganization Act (ERA) because they are not “employees,” according to the Sixth Circuit Court of...more

Unpaid Wage Claims for Pre- and/or Post-Work Activities: Leaving America's Heartland and Coming to a Corporate Environment Near...

It is nothing new for farms and manufacturing plants to find themselves subject to collective and/or class action lawsuits by employees claiming they should have been paid for time spent "donning and doffing" work clothes and...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Avoid Liability for Acts and Incidents at Franchisees' Locations

There has been a lot of news lately about risks of franchisors being liable for acts and incidents at franchised locations. The National Labor Relations Board's general counsel recently announced he intends to claim...more

DOJ Criminal Division Renews Efforts to Investigate Whistleblower Allegations

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has signaled a heightened effort to bring criminal prosecutors into the loop regarding False Claims Act referrals and other whistleblower complaints. In recent remarks at a conference comprised...more

California Jury Awards Over $185M To Victim Of Pregnancy Discrimination and 'Glass Ceiling'

A manager at AutoZone who complained she was not promoted like her male counterparts, demoted for taking leave to have a child, and eventually fired for filing a discrimination action was awarded damages yesterday of over...more

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