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Managing the Modern Workplace
V&E International Labor & Employment Resources

Undisclosed Personal Use of Company Perks by Executives Draws SEC Enforcement Action

In an unusual enforcement action, on July 2, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced that Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) agreed to settle charges relating to “inadequate” perquisite disclosures in their SEC filings from 2011 through 2015. The perquisites identified by the SEC — which included personal use of company aircraft for travel to outside board meetings, sporting events, and personal activities, club memberships, use of personal assistant office time, and membership fees — total approximately $3 million.

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Doing Background Checks Right (Part Three)

When talking about background checks in the first two parts of this series, we focused our attention on “consumer” or “investigative” reports an employer might obtain from a third-party company that specializes in doing background checks. This is because few human resources departments have the time or personnel resources to devote to checking court records in every jurisdiction where an applicant may have lived.

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Look Before You Leap — “Weinstein Reps” in Corporate Transactions

As Louis Brandeis observed, sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants. The exposure and discussion prompted by the #MeToo movement has shone a cleansing light on the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace. One of the more recent developments on this front has been the increasing prevalence of “Weinstein reps” in corporate transactional agreements. But before a buyer asks for one of these representations, or a seller agrees to give one, there are a few points that should be considered.

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  • 09
  • August
  • 2018

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Why is Litigation so Expensive?

Those of us who spend time in litigation have often heard clients question why litigation has become so expensive. For some clients, it is, in part, because they were not ready for it. It is difficult to prepare for litigation when little has been done to control the explosion of information that occurs in the digitally driven modern workplace in which we live.

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Doing Background Checks Right (Part Two)

After complying with all of the procedural requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, what are you going to do about that five-year old DWI conviction, the two-year old bad check conviction, or that very recent assault conviction that your recent star college grad applicant pled guilty to after getting into a barroom fight during Spring Break in his junior year?

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  • 02
  • August
  • 2018

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OSHA Proposes Rescinding Most of Obama Electronic Reporting Requirements

We were not surprised when OSHA issued a Notice of Proposed Rule late last week which would eliminate the Obama Department of Labor requirements that employers with more than 250 employees would have to electronically submit their logs of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (OSHA Form 300) and their Injury and Illness Incident Reports (OSHA Form 301).

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  • 31
  • July
  • 2018

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U.S. Immigration Visas: A Bureaucratic Wall is Being Built

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”), the governmental organization that administers the country’s legal immigration system, recently released data regarding visa denials and requests for evidence (“RFEs”) for the fourth quarter. And if you are an employer who regularly seeks immigrant visas for newly hired positions, the news is not good.

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Is Brazil Blazing a Trail on Employment Arbitration?

Adding an arbitration provision to an employment contract has been a familiar practice for many HR professionals in the United States. That’s unlikely to change, particularly since the U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld employment arbitration agreements barring class actions, see Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis. But what about the rest of the world? Although arbitration of commercial claims is mainstream on the global stage, that’s not the case when it comes to employment disputes. A recent development in Brazilian law could perhaps start a new trend.

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  • 19
  • July
  • 2018

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Is Your Employee Faking His FMLA Leave?

Your employee claims that he has debilitating migraines. After he provided medical certification of his condition from his physician, you approved his request for intermittent FMLA leave to miss work whenever the condition occurs. You notice, however, that his migraines occur primarily before or after scheduled holidays or on Mondays and Fridays. You suspect that the employee may be abusing his FMLA leave. What, if anything, can you do?

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Internships Are Not Bribes, Right? Don't Bank on It.

The SEC announced last week another agreement by an international bank to pay approximately $30 million to resolve charges in connection with alleged improper hiring practices in the Asia Pacific region to influence foreign officials. The financial giant in this agreement joins several banks recently resolving FCPA charges in connection employment practices overseas.

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Keep Calm and Carry On: How Brexit Will Affect American Businesses

With many media channels and American businesses still wondering about Brexit, we wanted to cut through the noise and answer questions about recent UK and EU developments and what impact they might have (or might not have) on U.S. multinational companies. With a calming message of “Keep Calm and Carry On,” our cross-practice panel of London and U.S. employment, data privacy, and international arbitration practitioners explain how to navigate a post-Brexit/post-GDPR world. 

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Traveling Overseas for Work – Paid or Unpaid?

I recently traveled to Norway for business. On my long flight home, I began considering to what extent my travel time would be compensable time under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) (assuming I were a non-exempt employee, of course). This thought was not totally out of left field, as the Norwegian Supreme Court recently ruled that travel time for a police officer is working time for the purposes of Norwegian pay and overtime laws. This Norwegian decision prompted me to think about what the FLSA — which was enacted when international air travel was rare — says on the topic of international travel time?

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Celebrate Freedom, Hug a Lawyer

“I have gone to jail for what I have said.” That’s what I was recently told by a lawyer from another country when he received a call from a reporter asking him to comment on a recent decision from one of his country’s courts. When I asked him how careful he had to be with what he said, he described his time spent in jail for statements he has made.

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Contributors

Thomas H. Wilson

Thomas H. Wilson Partner

Christopher V. Bacon

Christopher V. Bacon Counsel

Sean Becker

Sean Becker Partner

Stephen M. Jacobson

Stephen M. Jacobson Partner

Martin C. Luff

Martin Luff Counsel

Lawrence S. Elbaum Partner

S. Grace Ho

S. Grace Ho Counsel

Robert Sheppard

Robert Sheppard Associate