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Should Employers Restrict Political Speech at Work?

Are you for Hillary or Trump?

Yeesh, let's step back from that minefield for a moment and consider what it could do for company morale -- and stability. Many companies can be lax about what conduct should and should not be restricted within a workplace environment, including political speech. We all invariably start talking about politics at work, even if we know better. But should we? And more importantly, should employers watch their lax policies? The solution is probably the easiest compromise in the world.

In early April, the Treasury Department and IRS released new proposed regulations under Section 385 of the Internal Revenue Code. They have been called “sweeping” and “dramatic” by tax experts and partners at major firms across the board — terms not usually associated with IRS regs. And they come as a bit of a surprise, having only been hinted to in earlier Treasury rule-making notices.

The new Section 385 regulations are so broad that they “fundamentally redefine the extent to which an intercompany instrument will constitute debt, irrespective of whether that group is inverted and who in the group issues it,” as Kevin M. Cunningham, managing director of KMPG in the International group, explains in a new Special Report for Thomson Reuters Checkpoint. (Disclosure: Thomson Reuters is FindLaw’s parent company.) Here’s what in-house counsel need to know.

Two 'Guanxi' Bribery Cases Get Off Easy With No U.S. Charges

The SEC has agreed to enter into non-prosecution agreements with two companies in unrelated corruption cases involving unauthorized and illicit handover of gifts to Chinese officials in order to increase business.

These cases highlight important cultural differences between businesses in the US and in China. Where Westerners may find corruption, Chinese businesses may simply find a case of guanxi.

Today's Lesson: It Pays to Be a Low-Down Sni -- Whistleblower

Wondering how a once loyal employee could blow the whistle on the company? We'll tell you how: money. (Or a strong commitment to the rule of law. But money helps even then.)

But one of the more difficult issues that an in house lawyer might have to do deal with is the occasional whistleblower. Just a few decades ago, whistleblowing was something that companies only expected from disgruntled employees. But now, there's real profit to be had for the employee out to make some additional cash. Here's what the in-house practitioner should know.

4 Things New In-House Attorneys Should Do

In-house lawyers are special within the legal community in that they are beholden only to a single client and are not burdened by the daily concerns of making the bills and paying employees. If you landed an in-house job, you are the employee.

But you’re also likely the employee who is going to be handling a mountain of crap — more so than any other employee in the company. The rumor that in-house life is cushy may be true for some lucky IH, but it will most likely not be in your cards for many years to come. How best to handle your new position? Here are some basic tips that anyone can follow.

In-House Counsel: Business Person First, Lawyer Second?

If a study by NYSE Governance Services and BarkerGilmore is to be believed, then in-house counsel jobs are getting less cushy. A big percentage of directors and officers recently polled have noticed a tectonic shift in the role of the in-house lawyer.

There are pros and cons to this developing trend, of course. At least one con should be screaming at you, unless you think we've seen this all before.

Should You Fire Your Employee for Gambling? Can You?

Several JPMorgan employees were fired from their positions at the company after it was revealed that they were involved in gambling ring. They were fired shortly after when their activities started to raise the suspicions of Chase bank.

Vices are to be expected with employees sooner or later. But what should you do about it? Or more importantly, what can you do about it?

Ruby Tuesday Hit With Unappetizing Wage and Hour Class Action

Wage and hour class actions are about as appealing as a bland, chain restaurant burger. And Ruby Tuesday just got served with an extra helping of hard to swallow litigation, now that a class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of every single tipped worker who worked at Ruby Tuesday locations in the last three years. If things go really badly for the restaurant chain, workers could be entitled up to $10.24 per hour of back pay -- across thousands of workers and 650-something locations, mind you.

And Ruby Tuesday isn't alone. Employment suits have been coming from multiple directions making the business of dining a complicated one indeed.

Chipotle's Social Media Rules Violated Labor Laws

When James Kennedy criticized his employer Chipotle over their wages in the form of a Tweet, he found himself suddenly without a job. According to the opinion of ALJ Susan A. Flynn, Chipotle's actions ran afoul of the National Labor Relations Act.

In a somewhat embarrassing twist for Chipotle, the company is also being forced to post signs around its eateries informing employees about how it violated the law.

Last September, just as the Volkswagen emissions fraud was being revealed, U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates declared that there would be significant changes to the way the Department of Justice handled corporate misdeeds. That memorandum, now known as the Yates Memo, made it clear that when corporations break the law, individuals will be held accountable.

Now, six months later, we're starting to see just how that might play out, and it could end up reducing corporate cooperation in enforcement actions.