Akin Gump has issued an alert on administration and congressional activity since President Trump’s inauguration. The report highlights key regulatory and legislative developments across a range of policy areas. This document also previews the policy agenda for the coming year and concludes with a political update and analysis of the 2018 congressional elections.
Akin Gump has issued an alert assessing the New York Paid Family Leave Law, which went into effect on January 1, 2018. We discuss employers’ obligations to their employees, what modifications need to be made to company policies and how this will affect all New Yorkers.
Click here to read the full alert.
Managing five generations of employees
In the coming years, employers will face the unprecedented challenge of having five generations of employees in the workplace. This encompasses those from the Silent Generation, born before 1945, through Generation Z, those born after 2000 and about to enter the workforce, and the Baby Boomers, Generation X-ers and oft-maligned Millennials in between. Having multiple generations in the workplace can result in tensions based on different priorities, workplace expectations and communication styles. Companies and their boards can help address these tensions by better understanding employee expectations, encouraging cross-generation mentorship, and setting an example of generational diversity with respect to company leadership and members of the board.
Corporate social responsibility
Boards of directors should leverage CSR initiatives to mitigate legal, reputational, operational and financial risks, and improve their bottom line. While some may perceive CSR efforts primarily as public relations efforts, community engagement or corporate philanthropy, more and more companies have developed systemic and effective programs to successfully meet key environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards as an integral part of their comprehensive risk assessment and mitigation programs. In fact, Boston Consulting Group analyzed some of the world’s largest consumer goods, biopharmaceuticals, oil and gas, retail and business banking, and technology companies, and concluded that those with better ESG standards were more profitable and traded at a higher value than their competitors. According to a 2017 study by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, companies with strong CSR practices are less likely to suffer large price declines, and they tend to have better three- to five- year returns on equity, as well as a greater chance of long-term success. These trends have not gone unnoticed. Investors are increasingly interested in the CSR performance of target firms as a way to identify economic performance potential and flag potential risks. As such, directors should now consider CSR performance critical to the bottom line.
On November 2, 2017, the House of Representatives released the first draft of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the Bill), which could result in the most significant overhaul of the U.S. federal tax system since 1986. Subsequently, two substantive amendments were introduced by the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. While the Bill is expected to change substantially and the Senate version remains to be unveiled, the Bill provides certain indications as to how tax reform may affect investment funds and asset managers. Significant aspects can be summarized as follows:
On June 30, Congress gaveled out for the July 4 recess after postponing a critical vote to begin debate on an Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal-and-replace bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and the GOP caucus have worked for the last two months in countless hours of behind-the-scenes meetings on what many believe to be a long-shot effort to unite 50 of the 52 Republican senators.
As stated in our May 25, 2017 Executive Compensation, Employee Benefits and ERISA Alert, the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) new fiduciary rule (“Fiduciary Rule”) became partially applicable on June 9, 2017. Set forth below are a few questions that a typical private fund manager might have in response to the Fiduciary Rule, and our responses thereto.
On June 16, 2017, the Trump administration issued a national security presidential memorandum entitled “Strengthening the Policy of the United States Towards Cuba” (the “Presidential Memorandum”). Related to this announcement, the White House issued a Cuba Fact Sheet, OFAC issued a new set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and the Department of Transportation also issued a new set of FAQs relating to the President’s announcement.