By Andrew S. Boutros and Craig B. Simonsen

Graduation cap and books. The concept education. Stack of books,Seyfarth Synopsis: No differently than companies doing business overseasespecially in high-risk marketsAmerican colleges and universities who do business overseas face real risks of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and must be mindful of the enforcement landscape that applies to these criminal violations. Robust and effective compliance
Continue Reading Higher Education Institutions are Beginning to Get an Education in the FCPA

By Kristina M. Launey with Christine Hendrickson

Seyfarth Synopsis.  Responding to inquiries regarding your company’s stance on pay equity can be dicey.  Having a strategy on how you address questions is important. 

Every time a client asks “what do I say” in response to employee inquiries about what the client’s company is doing to ensure fair pay, Justin Bieber’s song
Continue Reading Pay Equity Communications (AKA: What do I say?)

By Robert B. Milligan

As January quickly passed by and new projects increase by the day, there is still a golden opportunity to capitalize on some low-hanging fruit to immediately improve your company’s practices and add immediate value to your company.

The opportunity lies in improving your company’s restrictive covenant and confidentiality agreements and confidentiality policies.  Below are five tips
Continue Reading Five Easy Tips for Improving Your Company’s Non-Compete and Confidentiality Agreements and Related Practices Now

By Ada W. Dolph and Craig B. Simonsen

Blog picWhistleblowers continue to reap extraordinary awards under Dodd-Frank’s “bounty” program in exchange for bringing the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) “original” information that leads to a successful enforcement action. Most recently, the SEC announced its third-highest award since Dodd-Frank was enacted — an award of “more than $3,000,000” — to one such
Continue Reading SEC Announces Third-Largest Dodd-Frank Bounty Award

By Sam Schwartz-Fenwick and Craig B. Simonsen

Blog picIn another federal action that employers need take note of, last week the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) issued its “Commission Guidance Regarding the Definition of the Terms ‘Spouse’ and ‘Marriage’ Following the Supreme Court’s Decision in United States v. Windsor.” SEC Interpretive Release No. 33-9850 (IR) (June 19, 2015), 80 Fed.
Continue Reading SEC Interpretive Release on the Terms “Spouse” and “Marriage”

By Christopher Robertson, Gena Usenheimer and Needhy Shah

Last week, the Second Circuit heard oral arguments in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy, a case that places squarely before the Court the question of who is a “whistleblower” within the meaning of the Dodd-Frank Act Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank”).

As we have discussed in our previous posts,
Continue Reading Second Circuit Tackles “Whistleblower” Protection Under Dodd-Frank

By Ada W. Dolph

In a post-script to the SEC’s April 1 cease and desist order penalizing KBR, Inc. for a confidentiality statement that failed to carve out protected federal whistleblower complaints (our alert on it here), SEC Office of the Whistleblower Chief Sean McKessy today made additional comments that suggest public companies as well as private companies that
Continue Reading Aggressive Enforcement Efforts Will Continue After KBR, Per SEC Whistleblower Chief

By Ada W. Dolph, Christopher F. Robertson and Robert Milligan

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced today that it had made good on its prior promises to take a hard look at employment agreements and policies that could be viewed as attempting to keep securities fraud complaints in-house. In KBR, Inc., Exchange Act Release No. 74619 (April 1, 2015), the agency announced an enforcement action and settlement with KBR in which KBR agreed to amend its Confidentiality Statement to provide further disclosures to employees regarding their right to communicate directly with government agencies, notify KBR employees who had signed the Statement in the past, and pay a $130,000 civil penalty.

The SEC concluded that KBR’s Confidentiality Statement violated SEC Rule 21F-17, adopted by the SEC after the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was enacted in 2010. SEC Rule 21F-17 provides that “[n]o person may take any action to impede an individual from communicating directly with the Commission staff about a possible securities law violation, including enforcing, or threatening to enforce, a confidentiality agreement . . . with respect to such communications.” 
Continue Reading SEC Cracks Down on Agreement Requiring In-House Reporting of Fraud Complaint

By: Christopher F. Robertson

As we have reported previously, federal courts are currently split on the question of whether the anti-retaliation provisions of the federal Dodd-Frank Act (DFA) apply to employees who disclose their employer’s alleged securities violations to company officials but do not report the claimed violations to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  Just in May 2014,
Continue Reading Federal Court Split Continues Over Who Qualifies as a “Whistleblower” Under Dodd-Frank

By Christopher Robertson and Paul E. Freehling

The U.S. district courts are currently split on the question of whether the anti-retaliation provisions of the federal Dodd-Frank Act (“DFA”) apply to employees who disclose their employer’s alleged securities violations to company officials but do not report the claimed violations to the SEC.  Just in May 2014, for example, federal courts in
Continue Reading Federal Courts Divided On The Definition Of “Whistleblower” As That Word Is Used In The Dodd-Frank Act