Featured Articles:

Antitrust Division Charges Health Care Staffing Company with Criminal Wage-Fixing and No-Poaching Agreement

The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division is pushing criminal enforcement against companies for illegal wage-fixing among competitors in the hiring market.  After years of warning companies that DOJ intended to prosecute criminal cases for illegal cartel activity in labor markets, DOJ is delivering on its warning. In its third announced criminal case, DOJ has indicted VDA OC, LLC, a health care staffing company that supplied nurses...

Episode 188 — 2021 First Quarter Review of OFAC Sanctions Enforcement

In the new Biden Administration, companies should expect aggressive enforcement of trade sanctions.  At the same time, in response to Russian aggression and the Solar Winds cyber-attack, OFAC is likely to implement new and even more restrictive sanctions against Russia.  In anticipation, companies should elevate the importance of their sanctions compliance programs (SCPs) pursuant to the May 2019 OFAC Framework.  Unfortunately, for many companies, sanctions...

Integrating ESG into Your Business

It is easy to get lost in ESG.  Focus is the key.  Leadership has to define the ESG strategy.  A designated officer has to lead implementation.   The ESG bucket can carry a variety of causes, issues and priorities.  Leadership has to sift through these individual items and commit to action.  The ESG program now has to be implemented. A first step is to identify opportunities...

Meeting the ESG Challenge

Perhaps I am little bit behind.  That would be nothing new – but we are getting to the point where we no longer need to spell out ESG.  Everyone knows what it means – directors, officers, employees, investors, shareholders and other stakeholders can spell it out.  ESG is firmly implanted in the corporate governance landscape.  Prosecutors and regulatory agencies are quickly adding ESG to their...

In-House Counsel and Risk Management

A good lawyer knows the law; a clever one takes the judge to lunch. — Mark Twain Lawyers get a bad rap – not just as the subject of lawyer jokes.  (This is not an invitation to recite lawyer jokes).  I recently wrote about the unique skills that compliance professionals possess in risk management.  CCOs are “comfortable” assessing risk, prioritizing risks and then mitigating risks...

Nordgas Settles with OFAC As Part of UniControls Violations of Iran Sanctions Program

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC)continues to pile up sanctions enforcement actions.  As the Biden Administration slowly takes over the reins of the Department of Treasury, OFAC enforcement is likely to increase.  Companies should expect more and complex sanctions, including anticipated strict sanctions against Russia for election interference.  OFAC’s mission and enforcement profile will increase.  At the same time, individual liability is...

Episode 187 — Review of DOJ’s Settlement with Boeing for the 737 MAX Safety Scandal

Boeing’s long and tragic scandal surrounding its 737 MAX safety concerns and FAA disclosure violations has come to an end.  DOJ announced a settlement early this year, on January 7, 2021, which included a three-year deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) in exchange for total payments of $2.5 billion, consisting of: a $243.6 million criminal penalty, $1.77 billion in compensation to its airline customers, and $500 million to establish...

Danger! Danger!: Retaliation Against Employees is Increasing (Part II of II)

The FCPA Guidance issued by the Justice Department and the SEC says it best – “The truest measure of an effective compliance program is how it responds to misconduct.”  These are prophetic words.  Many organizations, however, cannot pass this basic test.  Indeed, if we look at the Ethics and Compliance Initiative’s 2021 Global Business Ethics Survey (GBES), the conclusion is inescapable: organizations’ ethical cultures are...

ECI’s Global Business Ethics Survey: The Plusses and Minuses (Part I of II)

The Ethics and Compliance Initiative is a terrific organization that provides important ethics and compliance insights and leadership.  Starting in 1994, ECI has conducted a longitudinal, cross-section study of workplace conduct.  ECI recently issued its sixteenth GBES results, which provide important benchmarks on the state of ethics and compliance programs in business.  ECI focuses on the connection between an organization’s ethical culture and workplace behaviors. ...

The Demand for Sustainability and Risk Management

The COVID-19 pandemic uncovered the fragility of business operations – within the space of weeks, companies were forced to adjust to distribution channel and supply chain disruptions, workplace closings, and a virtual standstill in global trade.  The global economy came to a screeching halt.  While the economy is slowly recovering and poised for increased activity, consumers and investors have discovered the importance of organizational sustainability. ...