Tag Archive for ‘U.S. Chamber of Commerce’
The road map keeping track of social media charges and complaints at the U.S. National Labor Relations Board is getting more interesting and complicated. New data suggests that the agency has examined more than 129 cases, with the most common issues being overbroad policies restricting employee use of platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, and the unlawful firing or disciplining of employees for the contents of their posts.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated Securities and Exchange Commission rules adopted in 2010 designed to give shareholders the ability to nominate directors through corporate proxy materials. The court ruled that the SEC “acted arbitrarily and capriciously for having failed once again…to adequately assess the economic effects of a new rule.”
Commission chairman Mary Schapiro said that while the Sarbanes-Oxley Act has helped protect whistleblowers and improve internal reporting systems at public companies, “too many people remain silent in the face of fraud. Today’s rules are intended to break the silence of those who see a wrong.”
House Republicans introduced legislation targeting the already-delayed whistleblower rule in the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. The move, backed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is just the latest in a series of setbacks for those who favor strengthening whistleblowers rules to encourage reporting of wrongdoing within government and businesses.
Even as anger over governmental corruption has exploded into protests across the Middle East, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been working to weaken the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a law that bans companies from bribing foreign officials.
A group of investment organizations with about $43 billion in assets under management has sent letters to 35 major companies represented on the board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, urging company managements “to evaluate their role and to assess the risks and benefits of Board membership.”
The study found that in a one-day “event window” around October 4, when the SEC announced delay of the shareholder proxy access rule, share prices of companies that would have been most exposed to shareholder access declined significantly – about 42 basis points – compared to share prices of companies that would have been most insulated from the rule.
Many leading companies strive to follow best practices in corporate governance, demonstrating responsiveness to investors and protecting shareowner value in the process. Paradoxically – argues a leading socially responsible investment executive – some of these same companies often appear to leave their commitment to corporate governance at the doorstep when they serve on the board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The Securities and Exchange Commission put the proxy access movement on hold, granting a request by business groups to stay the SEC’s recently adopted rules giving shareholders a procedure to put nominees on the ballot at corporate elections for directors. The decision likely makes proxy access moot for the 2011 proxy season.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable filed a legal challenge to the recently issued Securities and Exchange Commission rules on proxy access. The groups have asked the SEC to stay adoption of rules giving certain shareholders the right to include their nominees in corporate proxy materials. The rules have been scheduled to take effect Nov. 15, 2010.