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Cybersecurity on Its Mind: SEC to Require Cyber-Related Reporting and Disclosures

Last week, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced a proposed rule that, if adopted, will compel public companies to disclose their governance, risk management and strategy with respect to cybersecurity risks. In addition, these entities would have to report any material cybersecurity incidents. (Read More)

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Companies Must Take the Good (Reviews) With the Bad

No business likes negative reviews, but companies must deal with the consequences of unhappy customers. This is particularly true in light of recent Federal Trade Commission allegations levied against online fashion retailer Fashion Nova, LLC, which learned the hard way what happens when a company blocks negative product reviews from being posted online. (Read More)

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Crypto Wars Continue: The SEC Takes a Stand on Asset Classification

Cryptocurrency is a volatile investment, to say the least. But despite their unpredictable nature, Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum, Dogecoin and the like are now widely owned and traded not only by individuals, but by private and public companies as well, all of whom see the clear value in this nascent asset class. That being said, when it comes to classification for reporting purposes, holders of crypto take a vastly different approach from the government—namely, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. (Read More)

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A Definitive Approach to Analyzing Whistleblower Retaliation Cases

With an assist from the California Supreme Court, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has identified the correct evidentiary standard to be used when evaluating whistleblower retaliation cases. Consistent with clarification recently provided by the high court in the Golden State, the Ninth Circuit ruled that the test set forth in California Labor Code §1102.6—one that is more favorable to employees—is the benchmark courts should use to analyze state whistleblower retaliation claims. (Read More)

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The California Supreme Court Pumps the Brakes on Carrier Refunds

Last week, the California Supreme Court denied a petition and depublication request by California’s insurance commissioner and consumer organizations in a case entitled State Farm General Insurance Company v. Lara. The repercussions of this decision are potentially huge for carriers. (Read More)

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Congress Has Spoken on Court Access for Victims of Workplace Harassment and Assault

In a rare show of bipartisanship, the U.S. Senate has just passed legislation arising out of the #MeToo movement that guarantees the victims of workplace sexual harassment or assault the ability to pursue litigation against their employers in court, as opposed to arbitration. (Read More)

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Companies with Loyalty Programs in the Crosshairs for CCPA Compliance Investigations

California’s Attorney General has put businesses operating loyalty programs in the state on notice that they may be subject to investigation. AG Rob Bonta has done so by sending notices to several companies alleging noncompliance with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)—a law that requires businesses offering discounts, free items or other rewards to provide consumers with a notice of financial incentive when these offers are made in exchange for personal information. (Read More)

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Injunctive Relief: Be Careful What You Wish For

When crafting requests for injunctive relief, lawyers often counsel clients against overreaching. That’s because should a client seek an order that goes too far, there’s a risk that the request will be rejected wholesale, leaving the client with no relief at all.

Of course, there’s always a chance that a client’s request for injunction will be granted as well. Which means clients must be prepared for the legal and public relations consequences of getting what they asked for. That being said, when framing the injunctive relief to be sought, every client needs to contemplate a very straightforward question: “am I prepared for what happens if the court says yes?” (Read More)

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Hackers to the Rescue: An Overview of Bug Bounties

For far too many companies worldwide, computer hacks are an inevitability. Indeed, some experts place the statistical probability of a data breach at around 30%, which means potentially devastating trouble is lurking for nearly one in three businesses, both domestically and overseas. And when cybercriminals do infiltrate corporate computer systems, the resulting price tag can be substantial—recent estimates suggest that, on average, each breach costs companies in excess of $3 million.

The good news is that organizations in the private and public sector have at their disposal an arsenal of tools to combat cybercrime. Among them are so-called bug bounty programs, a lesser known but increasingly used method of identifying and fixing network vulnerabilities. (Read More)

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Proxy Wars: Climate, Diversity Among Top Considerations for Institutional Investors

The securities professionals at Michelman & Robinson, LLP have identified certain policy items of importance to institutional shareholders going into 2022. These policies, flashing brightly on investor radar screens as they consider proxy statements soliciting votes, are set forth below.

In our estimation, public companies—those with significant blocks of institutional shareholders—that fail to pay heed to the guidelines discussed in this post may be unable to secure the proxy votes they need during proxy season and otherwise. As such, it is recommended that annual reports issued and the proxy statements filed by listed companies cover all of the following. (Read More)