Audit, Compliance and Risk Blog

SEC Tries Again To Increase Resource Extraction Issuers’ Reporting

Posted by Jon Elliott on Tue, Jul 26, 2016

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recently republished requirements for publicly listed “resource extraction issuers” to report payments they make to the U.S. federal government or foreign governments, related to commercial development of oil, natural gas, or minerals. These requirements fulfill one of many duties assigned SEC by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, this one codified in a new Section 13(q) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 (1934 Act).

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Tags: SEC, Environmental, Oil & Gas, directors, directors & officers

Constructive Dismissal Claims Due to Employer Conduct

Posted by STP Editorial Team on Thu, Jul 21, 2016

Managers who abuse employees and employers who tolerate such abuse may be subject to law suits and face significant financial penalties if their actions are found to constitute constructive dismissal.

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Tags: Employer Best Practices, Employee Rights, Canadian, directors, directors & officers

Director Who Decided Not To Be Involved In Business, Still Liable For Employees’ Unpaid Wages

Posted by Ron Davis on Tue, Jul 19, 2016

Mensa Williams was listed as a director in the incorporation documents for Ambrosia Elite Corp., a company run by his brother, Admin. Ambrosia was incorporated in 2007, but did not actively conduct its retail clothing business until 2008. Ambrosia became insolvent in 2014, leaving its employees with unpaid wage claims. The unpaid wage claims were pursued under Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA), and when those claims were unsatisfied, an order to pay was issued to Ambrosia’s directors including Mensa Williams.

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Tags: Business & Legal, Employer Best Practices, Employee Rights, directors, directors & officers

Director’s Liability Insurance Does Not Cover Personal Guarantee Given By Director

Posted by Ron Davis on Thu, Jul 14, 2016

In Great American Insurance Co. v. Ramsoondar (2016 ABQB 73), the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench was asked to declare that a director and officer liability insurance policy did not cover the losses claimed against Fredy v. Ramsoondar pursuant to a personal guarantee he granted to Faunus Group Inc. (FGI), a client of United Protection Services Inc. (UPSI). UPSI was a wholly owned subsidiary of United Protection Services Group Inc. (UPSG), and UPSG obtained a director and officer liability policy from Great American Insurance Co., and listed Ramsoondar as its chief financial officer on the policy.

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Tags: Insurance, Insurance Claims, Canadian, directors, directors & officers

Does EPA’s Latest Pesticide Proposal Protect Bees?

Posted by Jon Elliott on Tue, Jul 12, 2016

On May 17, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposed order registering the pesticide sulfoxaflor, using authority under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). This proposal is the latest action in a long-running and controversial review of that potential pesticide, and continues to consider how toxic this active ingredient is to bees, and therefore how and if it can be used. Coming after a recent court decision vacating EPA’s previous attempt to register sulfoxaflor, the answer is not clear (I provided a basic discussion of FIFRA registration here).

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Tags: Environmental risks, Environmental, EHS, EPA, Hazcom

Supreme Court Decides When Corps of Engineers’ Jurisdictional Determinations are “Final” and Appealable

Posted by Jon Elliott on Tue, Jul 05, 2016

Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to regulate the “discharge” of “dredged material” or “fill material” into “navigable waters.” Section 404 provision applies if someone wants to dredge a waterway, put fill (or a constructed feature such as a pier or berm) into a waterway, or fill a wetland that occupies a waterway, if that waterway is regulated by CWA as a “water of the United States.” That definition is subject to extreme controversy at the moment – several U.S. Supreme Court decisions struck down a century of agency interpretations, which the Corps and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sought to readjust by changing rules that have now been stayed pending litigation that’s certain to reach the Supreme Court again (I blogged about the rules here).

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Tags: Environmental risks, Environmental, EPA, Hazcom, effluent

Applying A Hierarchy of Controls to Increase Workplace Safety

Posted by Jon Elliott on Tue, Jun 28, 2016

Every workplace poses at least some potential hazards to workers, but every set of hazards is unique. To effectively identify and manage those hazards, an organization should apply logical and systematic approaches. A number of related approaches are available. A few months ago I blogged about a proposal by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to revise the Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines it promulgated back in 1989 (click here) – comments were due in February and OSHA is considering what to do next. OSHA’s proposal focused on overall program design, so included important structural considerations – who’s in charge, how are expectations communicated, etc.

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Tags: Employer Best Practices, Health & Safety, OSHA, Employee Rights, EHS

Paris Agreement On Climate Change Calls For Action By Non-National Entities

Posted by Jon Elliott on Tue, Jun 21, 2016

Last December, representatives of 195 countries agreed to continue to expand global efforts to combat climate change. The new Paris Agreement breaks a longstanding impasse with a clever mixture of multinational agreements and agreements-to-agree. I summarized its provisions (and the history of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Framework Convention) it modifies) here.

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Tags: Health & Safety, EHS, Greenhouse Gas, ghg, climate change, global

OSHA Requiring Employers to Submit Injury and Illness information

Posted by Jon Elliott on Tue, Jun 14, 2016

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires most employers to prepare and maintain records of occupational injuries and illnesses as they occur (I&I Logs). OSHA also requires employers to post an annual I&I Summary in each “establishment” within their workplaces by February 1, summarizing that workplace’s I&Is during the previous calendar year. Delegated state-run programs impose comparable requirements. (I summarized these requirements here). Most of this information remains with employers and their employees, so it never gets used for analyses of workplace trends or to help OSHA evaluate areas where additional regulations might be most helpful.

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Tags: Employer Best Practices, Health & Safety, OSHA, Employee Rights

STC Webinar: ISO 14001:2015 – Challenges for the Transition

Posted by Melanie Powers on Tue, Jun 07, 2016

The long awaited ISO 14001: 2015 standard is here. The 2015 standard follows a new format and requires organizations to redefine some key planning and implementation aspects of their environmental management system.

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Tags: EHS, Webinar, iso14001

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