Journal of Regulatory Compliance
Off the Rails: the Norfolk Southern Train Derailment and its Aftermath
On February 3, 2023, Ohio was suddenly and unexpectedly rocked by an accident whose long-term consequences are still unfolding. A Norfolk Southern-operated freight train carrying toxic chemicals derailed in the village of East Palestine. This accident, which poses severe threats to the environment and safety of the local community, has raised significant concerns about the environmental implications of train accidents and the safety of transporting hazardous materials through residential areas.
HIPAA Violations Hurting Americans
Taelor Thornton Associate Editor Loyola University Chicago School of Law, JD 2024 The Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) complaints and breaches increased from 2017 to 2021, yet the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (HHS OCR) stated that they did not perform any audits due to financial resources in …
Crypto Platforms Under Scrutiny by Various U.S. Agencies
Since the beginning of 2023, the cryptocurrency market has faced legal action from multiple U.S. agencies in efforts to control a sector that, until recently, mostly operated beyond the bounds of conventional financial regulation. As a result of the executive order issued by the Biden Administration in March 2022, various federal agencies examined the risk and benefits of cryptocurrencies and have issued official reports. These reports have led to coordinated action against the crypto market. The administration aims to “ensure that cryptocurrencies cannot undermine financial stability, to protect investors, and to hold bad actors accountable.” In their attempts to promote regulation, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau of the U.S. Department of Treasury, have acted against the crypto market on several fronts, frightening off bank allies, suing crypto firms for violating investor protection laws, and targeting exchanges connected to money laundering.
The Southwest Airline Debacle: What Role Should Regulators Play?
To anyone who travelled by plane this last holiday season or tuned into the news, you’re well versed in the Southwest Airlines (Southwest) issues that plagued December 2022. Southwest ended up cancelling over 15,000 flights over the Christmas season, forcing thousands of stranded passengers to sleep at the airport and miss time with loved ones. With the disruptions leading to an estimated $825 million loss for the company, federal regulators have scrutinized Southwest to ensure compliance with its customer service plan and to take mitigating steps to prevent another catastrophe. This failure presents an opportunity beyond mere investigation for the Department of Transportation (DOT) to take important regulatory steps to ensure infrastructure and technology is aligned with the modern expectations of travel.
FTC Proposes Rule Banning Non-Compete Clauses Nationwide
On January 5, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proposed a ban on the use of non-compete provisions in employment contracts. The ban would also require employers to nullify any existing non-compete clauses within six months of activation. The proposed rule applies to all employees and independent contractors, paid and unpaid workers, and businesses of all sizes and location. This is a far-reaching move that has the potential to raise wages and increase competition among businesses.
Too Big to Fail?: Ticketmaster and the Live Entertainment Debacle
After months of near-total silence, Beyonce opened Black History Month with a bang when she finally blessed the Beehive with what they had been impatiently waiting for since the release of her seventh studio album: the announcement of the Renaissance World Tour. Her loyal fans have been anticipating this news since Renaissance was released too much acclaim at the end of July 2022. However, alongside anticipation, fans are battling a strong feeling of anxiety at the prospect of not being able to secure tickets for the coveted shows. And no wonder. Ticketmaster – the vendor through which tickets for the Renaissance tour are being sold – recently, and very publicly, bungled another highly awaited ticket sale.
Improving the Biosimilar and Generic Drug Approval Process
Andrew Thompson Senior Editor Loyola University Chicago School of Law, JD 2023 As discussed previously here and here, patent evergreening and patent thickets are key drivers of prescription drug prices that also operate as a barrier to entry which blocks generic manufacturers from placing lower-cost alternatives on the market. This post will examine how newly …
New Incentives from the DOJ to Urge Companies to Self-Report Crimes
In an action meant to incentive companies to self-report their wrongdoings, the Justice Department (DOJ), has announced big changes to its Corporate Enforcement Policy (CEP). The Department of Justice has long been fighting against corporate criminality in its pursuit to maintain the integrity of the financial market. On January 17, Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr., announced revisions to the Criminal Division’s Corporate Enforcement Policy. Some of the revisions include up to a 75 percent reduction in fines for companies that voluntarily report their wrongdoings and fully cooperate with investigations and up to a 50 percent reduction for companies that fully cooperate with investigations even if they do not voluntarily disclose the crime. These incentives further soften the aggressive stance that the Biden administration originally took against Corporate America in 2021.
What Does The “ENABLERS Act” Mean for Attorney Regulation?
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is a bureau of the U.S. Department of Treasury committed to safeguarding the financial system by detecting and preventing money laundering, the financing of terrorism, and other illicit activity since the 1970s. The Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) expanded the definition of “financial institution.” The ENABLERS Act (Act) is the latest proposed amendment that seeks to expand the provisions of the BSA to several different professions, such as lawyers, trust companies, investment advisors, accountants, public relations firms, and art dealers, amongst others. Should this amendment pass, it will be the most significant money laundering reform yet. It will expand its reach by requiring these financial service providers to adopt anti-money laundering safeguards to close the loophole in the U.S. anti-money laundering system. The safeguard will require these professionals to help prevent and report cases of money laundering by implementing due diligence rules in their practice to ensure that the money entering the system is not “dirty.” This is currently not required of lawyers or any of these other professions.
The Downfall of Twitter: Layoffs Rocking Big Tech
Over the last several weeks we have seen mass layoffs across big tech, including Salesforce, Twitter, and Meta. This comes after big tech peaked during the COVID-19 pandemic when it was essential to the nation in keeping us virtually connected. During the lock down tech giants’ profits soared as consumers upgraded devices, maximized increased storage, and were forced to get creative in communicating in the workspace. However, inflation, rising interest rates, and digital spending are driving big tech companies to implement large-scale layoffs as the economy prepares to take a downturn. While Meta CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, described the announcement as one of his hardest decisions, Twitter CEO, Elon Musk, has taken a different approach, causing continuous chaos that has led to compliance risks.