Corporate Counsel

News & Analysis as of

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

Paycard Use Comes With Convenience, Regulation

For some employers, paycards have become a convenient and cost-effective alternate method to pay their workers, and for employees to have fast and easy access to their wages. Even direct deposit, for all the administrative...more

Another Federal Court Rules Debt Collector’s Voice Message Does Not Violate FDCPA

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York recently ruled that a voicemail message containing the caller’s name and identifying the caller as a debt collector with “an important message” was not a...more

New Ninth Circuit Opinion Requires Companies Seeking to Enforce Arbitration to Pay 'Sirius' Attention to Contract Formation

On November 10, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit continued its recent trend of declining to enforce arbitration clauses after finding that the contracts containing those clauses were never actually formed...more

Recent FCPA Enforcement Actions: The Layne Christensen Case and SBM Offshore

The Fourth Quarter of 2014 has been a busy one for DOJ and SEC in the FCPA arena. We are all praying that DOJ and SEC resolve the Avon case soon so that we do not have to include the case on our lists for predictions for...more

IP|Trend: Starting Up Your Protection of Intellectual Property [Video]

Start-ups are justifiably focused on getting products to market and ensuring that their financial runways are long enough to make it happen. But, failing to pay attention to long-term protections of intellectual property...more

5th Circuit: Outing Whistleblower Equals Adverse Action

On November 12, 2014, in Halliburton, Inc. v. Admin. Review Bd., 5th Cir. No. 13-cv-60323, the Fifth Circuit affirmed an ARB’s decision that disclosing the identity of a whistleblower may constitute an “adverse action” under...more

California’s “Online Eraser” Law for Minors to Take Effect Jan. 1, 2015

On Jan. 1, 2015, California’s “Online Eraser” law will take effect, requiring websites and other online service operators to delete on demand any content posted by minors. The law also prohibits such operators from sharing...more

Don't Get Caught Out in the Cold: Winter Wage Law Woes

Now that winter will soon be officially here and many parts of the country are expecting snow in the near future, employers should be mindful of how winter weather impacts wage laws. Employers should review their inclement...more

FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report-Episode 107 the Bio-Rad FCPA Enforcement [Video]

In this episode, I take a deep dive into the Bio-Rad FCPA enforcement action. ...more

Volunteers Are Not “Employees” Protected From Employment Discrimination Under Title VII

Many non-profit organizations, public agencies, and other employers rely upon volunteers. But what happens when an organization decides to terminate a volunteer’s affiliation with it because of the volunteer’s religion? ...more

The Ninth Circuit Provides Employers With An Assist In Dismissing FLSA Actions

Employers have long known that the Supreme Court’s decisions in Twombly and Iqbal provide them with a powerful weapon in moving to dismiss broadly worded complaints filled with conclusory allegations but little factual...more

Don’t Miss the Window for Post-Grant Review: Monitor Your Competitors by Creating Alert Systems

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has new and popular procedures for challenging the validity of (in other words, killing) a competitor’s patent. The most powerful procedure, a Post-Grant Review (PGR), must be filed within...more

Internet of Things – Top 10 privacy and data protection concerns

As we discussed in our previous posts, there are a number of positive trends that make the Internet of Things a long lasting evolution. Hardware is improving, there is an increasing understanding from the industry of the...more

10 Tips for Using Social Media during the Hiring Process

Many human resource professionals go beyond the use of traditional resumes, references and face-to-face interviews and turn to social media to gain additional insight into a candidate's qualifications and personality....more

A Taste of Things to Come? Whole Foods Feels Sting of “Non-GMO” Litigation

As we’ve explored in past posts, mandatory GMO-labeling legislation has, at best, a spotty track record among state legislatures. Nevertheless, the GMO issue continues to draw the public’s attention, and it is becoming clear...more

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