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Verifile International Newsletter Issue #7

05 Sep 2014

Welcome to our September edition of the International Newsletter 2014 which we hope you find helpful in keeping up to date.
 
 

 

Basic Disclosure – Indicative Results

 

We are extremely pleased to announce a major new enhancement of our electronic Basic Disclosure service. From this coming Monday we will start to receive electronic indicative results from Disclosure Scotland. These will come in the form of convictions / no convictions.

 

Disclosure Scotland will send these indicative results as soon as they have completed their vetting process and before the disclosure certificate is printed and posted to Verifile. The indicative results will be available a few days before the disclosure certificate is recevied and processed by us. As well as being available on our system, if you are subscribed to received email notifications for checks completed red, then you wil also receive an email notification when indicative results show convictions. If you are subscribed to receive email notification for all completed checks, then you will receive an email notification when indicate results show no convictions too.

 

Within an already quick turnaround time of only 6 calendar days on average, the indicative results may even reduce this to around 3 calendar days on average.

 

Overseas Checks - Availability List

 

Over the coming few weeks Verifile will release updated availability lists for overseas checks such as criminal, credit and directorships.

 

Ice Bucket Challenge

 

On Friday, 22nd August, Verifile emplouees grouped together to take part in one ultimate Ice Bucket Challenge in Aid of ALS and MacMillan Cancer Research. 11 brave volunteers rose to the challenge after the business got nominated. Among them, Verifile's very own Managing Director, Eyal Ben Cohen. As you can imagine, the opportunity to 'dunk' the boss saw many employees delving deep into their wallets to raise money to watch him take on the Ice Bucket Challenge.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkGIcs35O5s&feature=youtu.be 

 In this issue of the International Newsletter:

WORLDWIDE NEWS

  - Forecasts are Improved in Year-over-Year Comparisons; Indian Employers Again Report the Most Optimistic Hiring Intentions Across the Globe

AFRICA & MIDDLE EAST  - Africa Outstrips Middle East for Top Energy Jobs
PAKISTAN

 - Online Criminal Records

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

 - Even Hiring Expats Won’t Stem the Demand for IT Workers

ASIA PACIFIC

  - Southeast Asia – Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines the Future Power-Houses of Asia

AUSTRALIA

 - One in Five Workers Drunk on the Job

INDIAN
  - Manpowergroup CEO Sees Promise and Opportunity in India
MALAYSIA
   - 5 Things to Know About Drug Testing in Malaysia
SOUTH KOREA
   - Revised Privacy Law to Take Effect Amid Concerns
EUROPE

 

IRELAND 

  - DPC's Audit Guide to Facilitate Self-assessment

  - Irish High Court Refers Questions to European Court of Justice: Can National DPAs Disregard Safe Harbor?

  - Forced Subject Access Requests Criminalised

RUSSIA

 - Russia’s Internet Privacy Act Will Have Wide Implications for Foreign Companies

 - Russia’s Internet Privacy Act Will Have Wide Implications for Foreign Companies

SWITZERLAND

 - UBS Says Widens Background Checks for Specialist Employees

UNITED KINGDOM

 - Dealing With Lies in Job Applications

 - Eamon Jubbawy: The Risk of a Bad Hire

 - How to Deal With Employees Lying About Their Qualifications

 - Criminal Record Checking System Under Scrutiny by the Courts

 - Safeguarding Responsibilities Can Override an Agreed Reference

 - Jobs Rise by 9% in the Past Year, While Competition Remains High

 - Preventing Illegal Working - Changes to Right to Work Checks

NORTH AMERICA  
CANADA

 - Have Your Say on BC’s Private Sector Privacy Legislation Special Committee to Review the Personal Information Protection Act

UNITED STATES

- Louisiana Has Joined 16 Other States and Prohibits Employers From Accessing Employee Online Accounts

 - Rhode Island Enacts Social Media Privacy Laws

 - Class Action Filed Against Washington Metro Over Background Checks of African Americans

 - LexisNexis Settles Esteem Retail Theft Database Class Action Lawsuit

 - New Hampshire Becomes the Latest State to Pass a Social Media Workplace Law

 - Florida Law Firm Files Three Class Action Lawsuits on Same Day against Employers Alleging Violation of FCRA with Background Checks

 - New State Law Allows Background Checks on Volunteer Firefighters

 - OOIDA Members Challenge FMCSA's Pre-Employment Screening Program

 - Bill Will Require Background Checks For Day Care Workers

 - The Swelling Tide of Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) Class Actions: Practical Risk-Mitigating Measures for Employers

 - GIS Background Check Class Action settlement

 - Jackson Lewis 2014 Mid-Year Special Report - The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Your Anti-Corruption Compliance Program: What is Required in Today's Regulatory Environment?

 - Spokane Joining Nationwide ‘Ban the Box’ Trend

 - Illinois Passes Bill to Ban the Box

 

 

World wide news

 

Forecasts are Improved in Year-over-Year Comparisons; Indian Employers Again Report the Most Optimistic Hiring Intentions Across the Globe

Opportunities for job seekers across global labor markets are expected to remain mostly positive with few overall signs that hiring intentions are trending in one direction or another. Staffing levels are expected to increase in 37 of the 42 countries and territories. The strongest hiring plans across the globe are reported by employers in India, Taiwan, Turkey, New Zealand and Singapore. The weakest--and only negative--third-quarter forecasts are reported by employers in Italy, Belgium, France and the Netherlands. Overall, the forecasts are generally softer across the globe when compared to Q2 2014, but mostly stronger in year-over-year comparisons.

Read more

 

Africa Middle East

 

Africa Outstrips Middle East for Top Energy Jobs

Africa’s booming energy sector is outstripping the Middle East for offering the top paying roles and is now second only to Europe, according to the tax advisory firm Von Essen. The country now accounts for 13% of the best paying roles advertised for international oil & gas experts and has been attracting greater levels of external investment on the back of improving business infrastructures. A growing number of oil & gas jobs offering more than £100k per annum are being created by increased exploration and extraction activity in Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Niger, Uganda, Mozambique and Angola, as well as in Northern Africa and Nigeria.   

 

Read more

 

Pakistan

 

 Online Criminal Records

 

In a progressive development, Faisalabad has introduced a new criminal record office that will make public online criminal records complete with case histories, photographs, and thumbprints. This is a welcome move that will improve a system replete with corruption and dishonesty. People will no longer have to rely on other people to respond to their notices in newspapers to verify the authenticity of a ‘businessman’; instead they will simply be able to conduct a basic background search of a person. Likewise, employers will have an easier time identifying candidates who have been previously convicted and the nature of their offences.

 

Read more

 

United Arab Emirates

Even Hiring Expats Won’t Stem the Demand for IT Workers

Even if companies continue to hire expatriate workers, the transient work environment in the UAE will continue to make recruitment a challenge, with the rising need for IT professionals coupled with a short supply in local talent impeding organisations’ migration efforts towards emerging technologies, according to industry experts. "Manpower is not progressing at the same speed as technological development, and this is due to a number of challenges, including education and interest,” said Andrew Calthorpe, CEO of IT firm Condo Protego. "In order to ensure a sustainable recruitment model, there is a critical need for home-grown IT professionals.”

Read more


Asia Pacific 

- EMPLOYMENT SCREENING NEWS-

 Southeast Asia – Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines the Future Power-Houses of Asia

Over a third (36%) of employers globally report having difficulty filling jobs. As the global talent shortage continues, the availability of the right talent trumps the cost of labour as a key consideration influencing business decisions. Companies recognise that good business decisions are no longer about moving somewhere just for cost savings, but for the total opportunity, according to a new white paper from recruitment firm ManpowerGroup. Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines (the MIP countries), have become an attractive destination for global businesses. In fact, the MIP countries are expected to experience a demographic dividend, which will translate into a steady supply of younger workers.

 

Read more

 

Australia

 

One in Five Workers Drunk on the Job

 

Workplace drug testing gets a fair amount of media coverage, but there is a potentially far larger issue that employers need to be aware of: alcohol. An Australian Drug Foundation survey found that nearly one in five employees had performed work duties while drunk or tipsy. A similar number admitted to pulling a sickie due to the effects of alcohol, while about 40% said they’d gone to work while still feeling the effects of their drinking. Alcohol and other drugs cost Australian businesses $6 billion per year in lost productivity and absenteeism, with alcohol use contributing to five percent of workplace deaths and 11 percent of accidents.

 

Read more

 

India
 
-EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK-

 

Manpowergroup CEO Sees Promise and Opportunity in India


In an interview with the Economic Times of India, CEO of ManpowerGroup Jonas Prising spoke about the current recruitment environment in India and the country’s high growth potential. “Our third quarter 2014 Manpower Employment Outlook Survey of over 5,000 employers across India indicates that Indian employers anticipate a vigorous hiring pace. In fact, Indian employers report the strongest hiring intentions globally. Opportunities for jobseekers are expected to grow even stronger as emphasis is placed on improving business growth and employment generation,” he explained. Despite some hurdles, Prising is optimistic about the development of the Indian staffing market.
 
Read more

 

Malaysia 2

 

5 Things to Know About Drug Testing in Malaysia

Drug testing in parts of Asia can be complicated. Often there is no national law that directly governs workplace drug testing. However, there are occupational safety laws and guidelines that suggest "best practices:' It is often advisable to incorporate these best practice guidelines when drug testing in countries that do not otherwise have a law or statute. Also, before implementing a drug testing program in any country it is suggested that a thorough review of each country's labor and data protection laws be conducted to ensure compliance

Read more

South Korea

 Revised Privacy Law to Take Effect Amid Concerns

The government announced that it will ban firms from requesting resident registration numbers for commercial and financial transactions. Credit cards, banks and other financial institutions must also wipe resident numbers from all documents and databases. In place of resident IDs, other security options such as My-PIN numbers are being introduced. The local financial sector, however, is skeptical over just how effective the new measures would be. While it agreed on the need to avoid yet another leak, most believed that the newly proposed options such as My-PIN would face challenges. As the revision does not apply to existing data, critics have warned of additional security breaches. 

Read more

Europe

 

 Ireland

-DATA PROTECTION & PRIVACY-

DPC's Audit Guide to Facilitate Self-assessment

The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) issued a 'Guide to audit process' (the Guide) to assist organisations selected for audit and provide organisations holding personal data with a clear basis to conduct a self-assessment of their compliance with their obligations under the Data Protection Acts of 1988 and 2003 and the Electronic Communications networks and Services Regulations of 2003. "The appendices to the Guide contain sample audit questions and checklists, which enable organisations to carry out self-assessments of their compliance with the Data Protection Acts 1988 & 2003," said Davinia Brennan, Partner at A&L Goodbody.

Read more

-LEGAL ISSUES-

Irish High Court Refers Questions to European Court of Justice: Can National DPAs Disregard Safe Harbor?

In a new turn to the Maximilian Schrems case in Ireland, the Irish High Court decided to refer several questions to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), including whether national data protection authorities in Europe may disregard the Safe Harbor decision of the European Commission when assessing whether the U.S. recipient of data ensures an adequate level of data protection required under EU law. Depending on the outcome, European and U.S. companies may not be able to rely on Safe Harbor to legitimise cross-border data transfers in the future. It will be interesting to see if the Court provides any rulings concerning the scope of European data protection.

Read more

Forced Subject Access Requests Criminalised

The Irish Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald, signed regulation 337 of 2014 and 338 of 2014, which brought into force three previously inactive provisions of the Data Protection Act 1988 (DPA). The first subsection brought into force is section 4(13) of the DPA which makes forced subject access requests a criminal offence. This involves an individual being forced to submit a subject access request by an employer or potential employer, usually regarding a criminal conviction, in order to reveal the information. A €100,000 monetary penalty can be imposed for violation of this provision. 

Read more

Russia

Russia’s Internet Privacy Act Will Have Wide Implications for Foreign Companies

Russia's State Duma and Federation Council have adopted amendments to Russia’s personal data protection act, which require that personal data of all Russians is stored inside the country. This data localization obligation will have a major impact on global social networking companies but also other companies that transmit electronic communications over the Internet. The Bill is waiting for the signature of Vladimir Putin and may become effective on September 1, 2016. It means that any foreign company using the personal data of Russian nationals outside Russia must locate its servers in Russian Federation territory. Otherwise, access to this type of information resource will be blocked.

Read more

Switzerland

UBS Says Widens Background Checks for Specialist Employees

Switzerland's biggest bank UBS said it had expanded the number of employees that are subject to internal background checks to around 15% of its workforce in a move than came in the wake of numerous scandals. Under the new policy, roughly 9,000 bank employees will be subject to internal vetting, said a UBS spokesman. UBS is also beefing up policing of its employees as it grapples with a probe into potential rigging of the global foreign exchange market. The spokesman said UBS had already been vetting some current employees and that the expansion was part of the bank's operational risk strategy.

Read more

United Kingdom 2

-EMPLOYMENT SCREENING NEWS-

Dealing With Lies in Job Applications

In difficult economic times, job applicants may try to gain a competitive edge by embellishing their achievements or omitting potentially damaging information from their CVs. By inflating exam grades or fabricating work experience, applicants not only risk embarrassment but may commit a criminal offence under the Fraud Act 2006. Robust recruitment practices, such as following up references and incisive questioning at interview, have never been more important. If employers suspect an applicant has been dishonest, they should go the extra mile before making an offer and investigate that gap in employment history or request copy certificates from the candidate or their education provider.

Read more
 
Eamon Jubbawy: The Risk of a Bad Hire

Sixty two percent of employers report having been affected by a bad hire in the past year. The impacts are in time, money and morale. According to CIFAS, the average total cost of internal fraud was £483,000 in 2013, the average cost of a redundancy settlement £12,000 and the cost of a UK Border Agency fine for an illegal worker £20,000. As a result, a bad hire can cripple an SME or an already-frail business. Comprehensive and systematic background checks of prospective employees are vital as a cornerstone in the prevention of fraud and as protection from costly mistakes.
 
 Read more

How to Deal With Employees Lying About Their Qualifications

According to figures released by Higher Education Degree Datacheck, 31% of graduates knew someone who had lied about their qualifications on their CV and 37% considered it common practice. Employers who fail to have adequate safeguards in place risk exposing their business to dishonest and under-qualified staff. However, there are some simple, low cost and effective ways of minimising this risk such as: making it clear in the offer letter that the offer is conditional on verification of their qualifications and that it may be withdrawn if any misrepresentation comes to light, and carrying out ongoing checks on existing employees.
 
 Read more

-LEGAL ISSUES-

Criminal Record Checking System Under Scrutiny by the Courts

In the case of R (on the application of T) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, the Supreme Court had to decide whether the UK's criminal records system breached the right to privacy contained in the European Convention on Human Rights (Article 8). The Court of Appeal decided that disclosing all their convictions and cautions without considering their relevance in an employment contest was disproportionate and breached Article 8. The Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeals decision, finding that the existing criminal records scheme provided no means of filtering information so only those convictions/cautions relevant to a particular job application were disclosed.

 Read more 

Safeguarding Responsibilities Can Override an Agreed Reference

The case of Camurat v Thurrock Borough Council considered whether not sticking to a reference agreed as part of a settlement agreement could amount to a breach of contract or a breach of the employer's duty of care to the employee to exercise reasonable care and skill in providing a reference. This case will assist those employers who have a duty to provide certain information to the police and other safeguarding bodies. They will know they are able to comply with their statutory safeguarding duties without fear of breaching their duty to the employee.

Read more

-EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK-

Jobs Rise by 9% in the Past Year, While Competition Remains High

The UK labour market continues to improve with the number of jobs increasing by nine percent year-on-year (YOY), according to statistics from the Q2 2014 totaljobs.com Barometer, which analyses the behaviour of 5.9 million British jobseekers and 5,000 recruiters. Competition also rose, with the number of applications for each job rising by three per cent year-on-year. The East Midlands saw the biggest increase, with a 17 percent rise in the number of job postings, followed closely by Yorkshire at 16 percent. Other big winners included jobseekers in Wales, the North West, the North East, and East Anglia, which saw job opportunities jump 12 percent YOY.

Read more

-IMMIGRATION ISSUES-

Preventing Illegal Working - Changes to Right to Work Checks

Employers have a duty to prevent illegal working and are obliged to carry out prescribed document checks on individuals before they commence work to ensure they have permission to work in the UK. Employers may be liable to an increased civil penalty of up to £20,000 for each illegal worker if they fail to carry out the necessary checks correctly, or at all, and are found to be employing someone who doesn't have the right to work in the UK. In order to avoid these penalties it is important for employers to be aware of the recent changes to the prescribed document checks.

Read more

 

North America

Canada 2

Have Your Say on BC’s Private Sector Privacy LegislationSpecial Committee to Review the Personal Information Protection Act

Since it came into force in 2004, British Columbia’s private sector privacy legislation, the Personal Information Protection Act, has had a significant impact on the way British Columbia employers collect, use and disclose the personal information of their employees and others. A Special Committee is currently undertaking a review of the Act, including public consultation. If you or your organization are interested in participating in the consultation, you can do so by:

  • Attending a public hearing on September 8 or 9, 2014; or
  • Making written submissions to the Committee on or before September 19, 2014.

You can find more information about the review and how to participate here.

 

United States

Louisiana Has Joined 16 Other States and Prohibits Employers from Accessing Employee Online Accounts

Effective August 1, 2014, Louisiana joined at least sixteen other states who have enacted laws prohibiting or restricting employers from accessing employees' personal online accounts – including social media, email accounts, or any other online accounts which the employee uses for anything other than a purely business-related reasons. The "Personal Online Account Privacy Protection Act," states that no employer may "request or require" any employee or job applicant to disclose the username, password, or any other authentication information related to a "personal online account." Extreme caution should still be exercised whenever dealing with an employee's non-business related social media or similar account.

Read more

Rhode Island Enacts Social Media Privacy Laws

Although it is called “social” media, individuals using online services such as Facebook or Twitter should not be required to divulge information they wish to keep private, said Senate Majority Leader Dominick J. Ruggerio and Rep. Brian Patrick Kennedy. Nor should potential employers or school admissions officers ask applicants to provide their log-in information or to sign into their social media accounts so an interviewer can view their on-line activities. The 2014 Student and Employee Social Media Privacy acts will bar employers from demanding social media-related materials of job applicants, and will establish similar prohibitions for colleges as they consider prospective students.

Read more

Class Action Filed Against Washington Metro Over Background Checks of African Americans

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has been named in a lawsuit after the class members claim its background check policies are unfair. The plaintiffs claim the defendants’ actions have disproportionately affected African American applicants resulting in the unnecessary firing of current employees who have a demonstrated track record of successful employment and the denial of employment to applicants who are well-qualified to perform the jobs at issue safely and effectively. The plaintiffs claim the policy disqualifies many job applicants and employees based on criminal history that is not related to the job or occurred so long ago that it is irrelevant.

Read more

LexisNexis Settles Esteem Retail Theft Database Class Action Lawsuit

LexisNexis Risk Solutions Inc. has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit alleging its Esteem “retail theft contributory database” wrongfully labels job seekers as criminals even if they have not been convicted of a crime. The background check class action settlement was approved by a Pennsylvania federal judge who found the settlement terms were “sufficiently fair, reasonable and adequate for preliminary approval.” Under the terms of the class action settlement, LexisNexis agreed to suspend the Esteem database. LexisNexis has also agreed to implement more stringent requirements to protect job seekers if it decides to use the Esteem database for employment background check purposes in the future.

Read more

New Hampshire Becomes the Latest State to Pass a Social Media Workplace Law

Starting on September 30, 2014, New Hampshire employers will be precluded from requesting or requiring that an employee or prospective employee disclose login information for accessing any personal online account or service. The new law does have several exceptions. Employers may request logins and passwords: (1) for an account or service provided by virtue of the employee's employment relationship with the employer; (2) for an electronic communications device or online account paid for or supplied by the employer; (3) to conduct an investigation; and (4) to otherwise comply with the law.

Read more

Florida Law Firm Files Three Class Action Lawsuits on Same Day against Employers Alleging Violation of FCRA with Background Checks

A Florida law firm filed federal class action lawsuits in the same court against three separate national employers on the same day, with two of them naming the same consumer as the lead plaintiff, alleging violations of the FCRA by failure to obtain a valid background check consent on an online application process. The three complaints brought on behalf of individual plaintiffs as well a class of similarly situated individuals essentially allege the same type of violation—that the employer failed to obtain a valid consent on a standalone form that did not contain extraneous information.

Read more

New State Law Allows Background Checks on Volunteer Firefighters

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that strengthens the vetting process for volunteer firefighter organizations by requiring applicants to submit to a background check for any prior sex offense convictions. "Firefighters are often in a position where they serve and protect vulnerable members of their communities – which is why it is imperative that our volunteer firefighter organizations are staffed with highly qualified and dedicated individuals," Cuomo said. This legislation will require prospective volunteer firefighters to authorize a background check for sex offense convictions if the individual wishes to proceed with an application. This law passed both houses of the Legislature.

Read more

OOIDA Members Challenge FMCSA's Pre-Employment Screening Program

Six members of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, OOIDA, filed a class-action suit against the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration under the Federal Privacy Act charging that the agency is unlawfully disseminating reports of driver safety records to potential employers. According to the complaint, FMCSA is only allowed to report “serious driver-related violations” under its Pre-Employment Screening Program. However, the agency is releasing reports that go far beyond its statutory authority. The plaintiff truck drivers allege that FMCSA is acting willfully to disparage the safety records of individual drivers and each seeks statutory damages of $1,000. 

Read more

Bill Will Require Background Checks For Day Care Workers

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A bill filled with new rules designed to ensure people who have been arrested on suspicion of violent crimes are given background checks before they start work in state-licensed facilities is on it's way to the governor's desk.

A earlier KCRA 3 investigation revealed more than 1,100 people with arrests on suspicion of violent crimes were granted automatic clearances by the Department of Social Services while investigations into their backgrounds were still pending. "I have no regrets and I would do it all over again," said Ruby Cornejo, one of two DSS workers who revealed the clearance policy. "They shouldn't have even been there in the first place, not one day."

The department changed it's policy and stopped issuing automatic clearances after KCRA 3's initial report. Both the Senate and Assembly didn't think a simple policy change was enough, and members voted to put it put into law. "It seems to me the least of the requirements that we can have is that somebody pass a background check that's caring for foster children or children with developmental disabilities or caring for the elderly." Maienschein said.

Read more

The Swelling Tide of Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) Class Actions: Practical Risk-Mitigating Measures for Employers

The swelling tide of class action litigation against employers under FCRA is unmistakable. It cuts across all industries, including retailers, restaurant chains, theatre chains, manufacturers, financial institutions and transportation companies. To illustrate how the threat to employers is concrete, not merely hypothetical, close to a dozen nationwide class actions were filed in plaintiff-friendly venues during just June and July 2014. Generally speaking, employers must comply with the FCRA when they order virtually any type of report from a CRA, including criminal and motor vehicle records checks. Compliance with the FCRA is indispensable for all employers that use background reports to make hiring and employment decisions.

Read more

GIS Background Check Class Action Settlement

General Information Services Inc. (GIS) has reached a class action lawsuit settlement over allegations it violated the FCRA when providing information for consumer background check reports. If you were the subject of a criminal background check report that contained information furnished by GIS, you may be entitled to money from the class action settlement. The GIS settlement resolves allegations that the background screening company provided reports that contained expunged criminal records or did not mail notices to consumers that GIS had reported public record information likely to have an adverse effect upon the consumer’s employment on the same day that GIS furnished the report to the end-user.

Read more

Jackson Lewis 2014 Mid-Year Special Report - The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Your Anti-Corruption Compliance Program: What is Required in Today's Regulatory Environment?

The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) continues to be a major focus for U.S. regulators including the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (“SEC”). The first half of 2014 has included notable settlements totaling close to $500 million. At the same time, the Eleventh Circuit’s ruling in United States v. Esquenazi has adopted the broad interpretation set forth by the DOJ and SEC regarding what constitutes an “instrumentality” of a foreign government. 

These developments signal that government enforcement agencies do hold organizations accountable to the advice and standards set forth in the DOJ/SEC 2012 publication, A Resource Guide to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA Guidance”). As noted in our prior report, the FCPA Guidance explains that, in the wake of an established FCPA violation and a pending determination of whether to take action against the organization, the DOJ and SEC take a “common-sense and pragmatic approach” to evaluating an organization’s compliance program by asking three fairly simple, albeit broad, questions: (1) Is the Company’s compliance program well-designed?; (2) Is it being applied in good faith?; and (3) Does it work?

More recently, in November 2013, the World Bank and its partners released the Anti-Corruption Ethics and Compliance Handbook for Business (the “Handbook”), which was developed “by companies for companies” to address the concern that “a myriad of existing international principles for business can be confusing, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises with limited resources.” The Handbook attempts to define, from the perspective of companies, best practices in anti-corruption compliance.

Source: A Special Report by: Jackson Lewis Corporate Governance & Internal Investigations Practice Group, August 14, 2014

Read full report

Spokane Joining Nationwide ‘Ban the Box’ Trend

Spokane Mayor David Condon said the city would join a nationwide trend to “ban the box” and no longer ask city job applicants about their criminal background. Condon said revising the city’s employment application would open “another pathway to access” for people with criminal pasts and give them “more equal footing for meaningful employment.” With the move, Spokane joins almost 70 other cities and counties in choosing to ignore an applicant’s criminal history if it doesn’t pertain to the job at hand. The decision, which does not require City Council approval, is headed to the city’s human resources department and independent Civil Service Commission for review.

Read more

Illinois Passes Bill to Ban the Box

Effective January 01, 2015, the State of Illinois will impose a law that restricts employers in the state from asking about and inquiring into criminal record information. An employer or employment agency may not inquire about or into, consider, or require disclosure of the criminal record or criminal history of an applicant until the applicant has been determined qualified for the position and notified that the applicant has been selected for an interview by the employer or employment agency or, if there is not an interview, until after a conditional offer of employment is made to the applicant by the employer or employment agency.

Read more

 

 


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