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The Role of Internal Investigations in Corporate Governance

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

In order to function, corporations must be able to govern and oversee themselves. Unfortunately, when the issue under review is the board of directors’ or other high-ranking managers’ conduct, self-governance can become more challenging. Without taking proper steps to ensure the integrity of such an investigation, it can often appear to be mere lip… Read More »

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Considering a Criminal Record During Hiring

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

The hiring of individuals with criminal records is a sensitive issue. On one hand, many released convicts have a great deal of talent and exuberance to offer and can contribute significantly in a variety of positions. On the other hand, depending on the type of position and the nature of the conviction, hiring a… Read More »

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Derivative Litigation and Business Judgment

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

Corporate governance typically allows each shareholder to assert decision-making power proportional to his or her ownership stake in the company. However, under some circumstances a dissatisfied shareholder can cause significant problems for a company through a shareholder derivative suit. This is a process by which one or more shareholders initiate a lawsuit on behalf… Read More »

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When Does Criticism Become Concerted Action?

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

Employers have always had to deal delicately with criticism and insubordination by employees. On one hand, it is important for employees to feel they have an outlet for identifying problems in the company and suggesting ways that it can improve. However, when such criticism is pervasive and unconstructive, it can destroy morale, decrease productivity… Read More »

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What Is an S Corporation and Why Would You Want One?

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

S corporation is a bit of a misnomer — it is not actually a distinct type of business entity. Rather, it is a tax option available under the Internal Revenue Code for certain domestic business corporations validly organized under state law. Typically, it is an option for relatively small domestic corporations. What’s more, the… Read More »

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SCOTUS May Consider Circuit Split on Retirement Plan Vesting

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

As more and more employers in the United States are shying away from providing permanently vested benefits to their employees and retirees, a circuit split has erupted regarding the interpretation of ambiguous provisions governing collectively bargained retiree health care benefits. As is often the case when two U.S. courts of appeal reach conflicting answers… Read More »

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Government Moves to Raise Minimum Wage for Government Workers

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

While efforts in Congress to raise the national minimum wage — currently $7.25 per hour — have received resistance from employers and a lukewarm reception for legislators, the Obama Administration’s decision to raise the minimum wage for government contractors across the board could have an impact on many employers that do business with the… Read More »

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USCIS Reaches Fiscal Year Cap for H-1B Visas

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

Non-immigrant employment visas give U.S. employers a valuable opportunity to procure the talent and skills they need from around the globe. However, U.S. immigration policy strongly favors the use of domestic labor and strictly regulates the qualifications for receiving an employment visa as well as the overall number of visas available. On April 7th,… Read More »

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What Northwestern’s Football Player Union Could Mean

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

On April 25, 2014, 76 student athletes from Northwestern University cast their votes on whether the players should certify a union to bargain on their behalves under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). While the results of the election may not be known for some time — and are certain to have significant ramifications… Read More »

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U.S. Supreme Court Rules that Severance Payments are Considered Wages

By Tobin O’Connor & Ewing |

Quality Stores was in financial trouble in 2001 when it began offering its employees severance packages. The question presented in United States v. Quality Stores, Inc. was whether severance payments from employers to employees constitute “wages” under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). FICA is a mandatory federal payroll tax imposed on employers and… Read More »

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