Category: General

Privacy and Employee Issues During the New COVID-19 Pandemic Era

The global pandemic has created unique risks for handling employees’ exposure to, or positive testing for, COVID-19.  To ensure a safe workplace, companies have to address delicate issues surrounding employee safety.  The United States does not have a federal privacy law to address this specific situation (unlike Europe and Canada) and the treatment of employees personal information.  Interestingly, the HIPAA laws do not cover employers...

Chipotle Mexican Grill Enters Three-Year DPA and Pays $25 Million Penalty for Food Safety Violations (Part II of II)

In the Chipotle Mexican Grill case, DOJ entered into a three-year deferred prosecution agreement (“DPA”) in exchange for the payment of a $25 million penalty stemming from a string of foodborne-illness cases between 2015 and 2018 involving its restaurants in which more than 1100 people became ill. The charges against Chipotle stem from outbreaks of norovirus, a highly infective pathogen that is easily transmitted by...

DOJ Resolves Two Important Food Safety Criminal Cases: Blue Bell Creameries and Chipotle Mexican Grill (Part I of II)

In an important set of criminal prosecutions for food safety violations, the Justice Department recently announced resolutions with Blue Bell Creameries and Chipotle Mexican Grill.  While these cases were not related to the COVID-19 pandemic, they are indications of DOJ’s aggressive prosecution for food safety issues and are important reminders of the need for organizations to prioritize health and safety issues.  Corporate boards and senior...

DOJ and FBI Fight Back Against Pandemic Fraud

You can always count on cyber-criminals and fraudsters to come out of the woodwork when a national crisis occurs.  The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a multitude of criminal schemes.  Companies that rely on remote employees have to be vigilant in alerting employees to phishing, malware and other scams used by cyber-criminals and fraudsters. DOJ, the FBI and the private sector have been cooperating to...

Ensuring Employee Reporting in the New COVID-19 Pandemic Era

If there ever was a time that companies need to promote and encourage employee reporting, the time is now.  By employee reporting, I do not mean to single out hotline reporting – certainly that is one of many avenues to report concerns. In this era of fear and worry, companies need to recognize that their respective workforces are suffering from trauma (possible loss of family...

The Importance of the Human Resources and Compliance Partnership in the New COVID-19 Pandemic Era

Human Resources and Compliance have always had a natural and tight bond, assuming that there is no territorial or in-fighting political disputes.  In this new COVID-19 pandemic era, the HR and Compliance partnership is even more important. HR and Compliance have a critical challenge for moving forward – restoring employee trust in a safe and healthy work environment.  Company workforces are shell-shocked and they need...

The Risk of “Price Gouging” in the New COVID-19 Pandemic Marketplace

The COVID-19 pandemic era has transformed the economy  with a new emphasis on health and safety related products (e.g., sanitizers, toilet paper, designated medical supplies).  Our economy has suffered severe disruptions to demand and supply of goods and services.  In this new economy, businesses face extraordinary risks of federal and state prosecution for price gouging. The federal price gouging law applies narrowly to critical items...

Health and Safety in the New COVID-19 Pandemic Era

Let’s face it – we have all suffered (and are continuing to suffer) through an extraordinary time.  I know this is just another profound grasp of the obvious but the world is slowly recovering but with lots of changes and the continuing threat of a “relapse” or recurrence of the pandemic.  Our economy has been devastated and economic growth will occur slowly. We face significant...

OFAC Releases Guidance on Sanctions Compliance During the Pandemic

Elizabeth Slim, Senior Consultant at The Volkov Law Group joins us for an important posting on OFAC sanctions compliance as a result of the pandemic.  Elizabeth can be reached at eslim@volkovlaw.com. It was only a matter of time before regulators and law enforcement recognized the impact that the pandemic has had on our country and our economy – The Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”)...

ENI Pays SEC $24.5 for FCPA Violations

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, the SEC is continuing its FCPA enforcement activities.  The SEC lawyers and staff have brought two cases recently – an enforcement action against a former Goldman Sachs executive and the settlement with ENI which was announced on Friday. HERE. During the relevant period, between 2007 and 2010, ENI held a 43 percent minority-control interest in Saipem S.p.A. ENI’s American Depositary...