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Rules for Being an Effective General Counsel

Rules for Being an Effective General Counsel

December 22, 2020 at 3:45 PM - On-Demand General Counsel,

For those of you who are fans of Bill Maher or Dua Lipa, the idea of “New Rules” is a familiar one: identifying issues and committing to a new way doing things to improve outcomes. As we near the end to a challenging year, I have been thinking about my personal “rules” for being an effective General Counsel, and how they’ve evolved over time to reflect an ever-changing professional landscape. These “GC rules” have helped me whether working full-time or part-time, internal or external, as a newbie or a lifer. And because the whole purpose of developing rules to live by is to evolve and grow, I hope this list encourages you to reflect on your own rules (and maybe even share them with us!). So here goes, my current Top 10 GC Rules:

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Walking the Talk: Codes of Conduct in Business

Walking the Talk: Codes of Conduct in Business

December 4, 2020 at 4:04 PM - commercial contracts,

It has become fairly commonplace for companies of all sizes and industries to tout a commitment to ethical and socially-conscious business practices as a key differentiator in their respective markets. For example, a clothing company might distinguish itself by its commitment to sustainable manufacturing practices that include waste recycling and efficient water usage systems. Aside from being a means of establishing brand identity, this promise also may help a company attract capital from investors who share a similar sense of social responsibility. Regardless of the reason, companies who choose to adopt standards which exceed basic government guidelines must take appropriate steps to ensure the fulfillment of such promised social and ethical obligations.

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Key California Employment Laws for 2021

Key California Employment Laws for 2021

November 30, 2020 at 1:04 PM - compliance,

If you are a private-sector company with employees in California, please take note of the following new laws which go into effect as of January 1, 2021 (or earlier, as indicated below). Businesses impacted by these changes should review and update existing policies and procedures, including employee handbooks and records retention policies, independent contractor agreements, and arbitration agreements.

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5 Steps for Increasing the Enforceability of Online Agreements

5 Steps for Increasing the Enforceability of Online Agreements

November 16, 2020 at 5:01 PM - online agreements,

Online agreements, often referred to as “Terms of Use” or “Terms of Service,” have increasingly become standard practice for most companies doing business through a website. Although these agreements are designed to insulate companies from liability with respect to customers and users, not all online agreements are created equal. In fact, even the most detailed agreements can fail to protect companies from liability if the provisions are found to be unenforceable. A recently published white paper on the enforceability of online agreements actually found a direct correlation between form and enforceability[1].

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Election Season: Political Activities Tax-Exempt Organizations Should Avoid

Election Season: Political Activities Tax-Exempt Organizations Should Avoid

November 4, 2020 at 9:56 AM - Nonprofits,

In this ACC Docket article, Washington D.C.-based member Lakshmi Sarma Ramani and co-author Anita Drummond remind tax-exempt organizations about the limitations that may apply to organizations’ lobbying and political activities.

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OCR Right of Access Initiative Bares Its Teeth

OCR Right of Access Initiative Bares Its Teeth

October 26, 2020 at 3:03 PM - Business Associates,

Last year, the Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced a new initiative – the HIPAA Right of Access Initiative – as an enforcement priority in support of the right of individuals to timely access of their health records under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) Privacy Rule. As of this October, OCR has settled 9 enforcement actions against healthcare organizations for failure to comply.

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Can Employers Mandate Vaccinations for Employees?

Can Employers Mandate Vaccinations for Employees?

October 19, 2020 at 2:12 PM - employee policies,

Protecting the health and safety of employees is a high priority for most employers. Every year, as flu season approaches, many consider adopting a mandatory vaccine policy to help prevent the spread of the flu in the workplace. And now more than ever, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, this issue is top of mind for both employers and employees as the world awaits news of an approved vaccine for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. While employers may view that future vaccine as the linchpin in their plans to resume pre-COVID workplace protocols, simply mandating it for employees may not be feasible.

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California Employers Take on Greater COVID-19 Liability

California Employers Take on Greater COVID-19 Liability

October 2, 2020 at 2:57 PM - COVID-19,

The California legislature recently passed SB 1159, significantly expanding the governor’s executive order (N-62-20) of May 6 (“Executive Order”) regarding workers’ compensation and employer liability for COVID-19.

The Executive Order created a rebuttable presumption[1] that any employee diagnosed with COVID-19 from March 19 to July 5, who had visited the workplace at the direction of their employer and received positive results within 14 days of such visit, was presumed to have contracted the disease on the job, and therefore, could file a workers’ compensation claim.

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This publication should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances nor an offer to represent you. It is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your attorney concerning any particular situation and any specific legal questions you may have. Pursuant to applicable rules of professional conduct, portions of this publication may constitute Attorney Advertising.

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