Americas




Health Magazine Settles Disability Charges for US$58,000
Business Ethics and Corporate Culture, Employment and Workplace Issues

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced that Professional Media Corporation (trading as Your Health magazine) has agreed to pay US$58,000 to settle disability discrimination charges brought against it by the EEOC. According to the EEOC, the company “had a policy of forcing employees to sign a ‘health warranty’ certifying their health and that they did not use medications”, and subsequently dismissed an employee who had Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Auditory Processing Disorder. Additionally, the consent decree enjoins the company from continuing its “health warranty” policy and authorises the EEOC to ensure compliance with relevant legislation.
EEOC’s media release (7 February 2012)
(Source: EEOC)


Age and Disability Discrimination Suit Settled for US$120,000
Business Ethics and Corporate Culture, Employment and Workplace Issues, Respect in the Workplace

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced that DXP Enterprises (trading as DXP Safety Alliance) (DXP) has agreed to pay US$120,000 to settle a disability and age discrimination case. According to the EEOC, DXP dismissed an employee, Connie Brooks, after learning that she had a pre-existing back injury and/or on account of her age. In addition to the monetary settlement, DXP has agreed to provide for other relief, including:

  • “prohibiting  further discriminatory practices;
  • institution of policies and procedures to address disability and age discrimination;
  • training for employees, managers and human resource officials on disability and age discrimination;
  • posting a notice advising employees of their rights; and
  • a letter of reference for Brooks”.

EEOC’s media release (6 February 2012)
(Source: EEOC)


Bill Seeks to Prohibit Insider Trading on Capitol Hill
Insider Trading

The U.S. Senate has voted 93 to 2 to take up a bill that would prevent members of Congress from using confidential information they receive as lawmakers to trade in stock and other types of securities. Senators from both parties have indicated that the bill is an attempt to regain the trust of the American people at a time when the approval rating for Congress has dropped below 15 percent. Lawmakers have tried to pass similar bills in the past, but support for the restrictions was limited until new attention started being paid to the practices late last year.

New York Times: Bill to Prohibit Insider Trading by Members of Congress Advances in Senate (30 January 2012)
(Source: New York Times)


Speech: Global Diversity Leadership Exchange
Business Ethics and Corporate Culture, Other

The US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has made available the transcript of a speech, Global Diversity Leadership Exchange, delivered by FINRA chair and chief executive officer Richard Ketchum at the New York Stock Exchange, New York, on 1 February 2012.
(Source: FINRA)


Health System Settles DoJ Charges
Business Ethics and Corporate Culture, Employment and Workplace Issues, Other

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced that it has reached a settlement with the Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) in relation to charges that the HFHS “failed to provide sign language interpreters to a deaf patient at one of its in-patient psychiatric facilities and to his family members who are also deaf and need interpreters to communicate effectively with health care providers”. The failure caused the affected individual to be “denied the benefit of effective communication with hospital staff, the opportunity to effectively participate in medical treatment decisions, and the full benefit of health care services provided by Kingswood Hospital, which is a part of the health system”. The health system is required to provide appropriate training to hospital staff and adopt specific policies and procedures to ensure that auxiliary aids and services are promptly provided to patients or companions who need them, amongst other things. Additionally, the health system will pay US$70,000 to family members who were denied the benefit of effective communication.
DoJ’s media release (1 February 2012)
(Source: DoJ)