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June 2012 Client Alerts

What do video game, music, and free online telephone networks have in common?  If your employees use them they can lead to a FTC data security investigation.

Although the days of Napster and Gnutella may be over, the technology upon which those applications were based — peer-to-peer networks or “P2P” — is alive and well in modern-day programs that share video games and music.  As two recent Federal Trade Commission enforcement actions illustrate, companies that permit employees to use P2P applications — either knowingly or unknowingly — may face government investigations and possible liability.  To learn more, please click here to read the Bulletin published by the Data Privacy & Security Team on June 19, 2012.

FTC Cracks down on the Collection of Social Media Data For Employment Decisions

A survey released this year indicates that in some industries almost 40% of employers reviewed job candidates’ profiles on social media sites before making employment decisions.  Ordering a candidate’s social media history is, in many companies, becoming as routine as ordering a credit report or background check.  Most employers do not realize, however, that the Federal Trade Commission has taken the position that social media reports share something else with credit reports — they are covered under the privacy protections of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.   In June the FTC filed a lawsuit in the Central District of California against a company which marketed social media reports to employers to use as “a factor in deciding whether to interview a job candidate or whether to hire a job candidate after a job interview.”  To read more, please click here to read the Bulletin published by the Data Privacy & Security Team on June 14, 2012.

Record Settlement in a Sanctions Case Reached by ING Bank, N.V.

On June 12, 2012, ING Bank, N.V. settled alleged violations of U.S. trade sanctions with the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) for a record $619 million penalty.  ING Bank’s violations of OFAC sanctions involved more than $1.6 billion worth of funds that were unlawfully routed through the United States despite U.S. sanctions.  To learn more about the allegations against ING Bank and the Settlement Agreement reached, please click here for the International Regulatory Bulletin No. 497 published June 13, 2012 by the International Trade Group.

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August 2011 Client Alerts

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Arizona’s Employment Verification Law

On May 26, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Arizona law that sanctions employers for hiring unauthorized aliens and endorsed Arizona’s requirement that employers use the federal E-Verify screening program.  A 5-3 majority of the Court found that language in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 did not pre-empt the Arizona Law.  For the answers to frequently asked questions about the Arizona law, please click here to read the Client Alert published by the Labor & Employment Client Service Group on August 4, 2011.

Employers Should Consider Expressly Prohibiting FMLA Fraud

Many employers have updated their FMLA policies to reflect recent amendments to the law and revisions to the regulations.  Another aspect of an FMLA policy that merits attention is ensuring that the policy expressly prohibits FMLA fraud and specifies the penalty for the offense.  The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an unpublished opinion earlier this year that reinforces the need for express fraud prohibition.  To learn more about the implications of the opinion, please click here to read the Client Alert published by the Labor & Employment Client Service Group on August 19, 2011.

SEC Proxy Access Rule Vacated by Federal Court

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently set aside and vacated Exchange Act Rule 14a-11 concerning shareholder proxy access, adopted by the SEC on August 25, 2010.  On a petition for review, a panel held that the SEC had “failed adequately to consider the rule’s effect upon efficiency, competition and capital formation,” as the SEC was required to do under its enabling statutes.  Thus, the Court held that adoption of the Rule was “arbitrary and capricious” and vacated the Rule.  To read more about the decision, please click here to read the Alert published by the Corporate Finance and Securities Client Service Group published August 4, 2011.

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