Numbers seven through 12 of top compliance concerns from global companies is a continuation of Part 1.
7. Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is a violation of anyone’s basic human rights, and in many cases, is also illegal. The study states that the concerns surrounding sexual harassment have risen in the US because many states have created laws that make it mandatory for supervisors and managers to undergo specific amounts of training to help identify, prevent and properly handle claims of sexual harassment in the workplace. Managers may also want to integrate this rule into their own companies to ensure that all employees receive the training necessary to reduce workplace sexual harassment. In order to maintain an environment and culture of mutual respect and support, sexual harassment, and retaliation against those making allegations of sexual harassment, needs to be eliminated. Companies must encourage employees to report instances of sexual harassment through internal and anonymous reporting systems. Executives and managers at other levels must observe for any signs of retaliation that an employee could face for reporting sexual harassment and report the retaliation to the appropriate department. For more on preventing sexual harassment, one of our previous posts “Preventing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace,” provides some great investigation tips and tools for your HR department.
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8. Proper Use of Computers
Each company has a different opinion regarding the use of computer in the workplace. Whether employees use computers to waste time at work or for committing illegal acts, each company must determine what the limitations of employee computer usage will be within the workplace. The use of company laptops that exit the workplace is also an important matter as they are company property but many employees wind up using them for personal use. The use of computers has become a growing concern in recent years, as many employees rely heavily on computers and other technological devices that use Internet connections to conduct basic daily tasks.
9. Global Competition Law
Similar to the development of the US Anti-trust Laws, other countries have developed their own laws for handling global competition. Competition laws protect industries from being dominated by one organization. They also address unfair business practices. Each country has its own laws regarding global competition- to see some of the different laws, the Global Competition Forum from the International Bar Association is an informative site to turn to.
10. Insider Trading
Insider trading has made the list because of the increased attention and enforcement of laws and policies prohibiting the act of insider trading. Issues surrounding insider trading interfere with SEC regulations, including the Fair Disclosure Act. Avoiding insider trading helps maintain investor confidence for trading in the market and also helps maintain fairness. To avoid insider trading a simple solution is required: share company information with the public as soon as it’s available and document any trades made by those considered “insiders”. Different countries have different laws and enforcement levels regarding the consequences of insider trading.
11. Records Management
Companies are required to keep certain pieces of information for specified periods of time. Employee information, internal policies and procedures, client files, as well as numerous other important documents must be accounted for and accessible at any point in time. This is particularly important if a company must investigate allegations. The company must preserve case evidence and make reference to other documents that already exist within the company in order to fulfill their obligations during the investigative process. Records management and the protection of information can make or break an investigation.
12. Certification and Disclosure
This means that employers are collection confirmations from employees that they have received, read and understand company policies that have been distributed. Employees are asked for these statements because it tends to reflect on an employee’s commitment to governing themselves by the policies and taking them more seriously. In many cases, requiring these confirmations means that employees will be more apt to actually read and apply the policies to their daily work because they know that they are now being held accountable for their actions in the workplace. This form of accountability also increases the likelihood of internal disclosure when an employee observes misconduct or actions that go against company policies.