The Biden Administration acted strongly last month in response to the recent collapses of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank. Each collapse sent shockwaves through the U.S. banking system and shook the confidence of consumers nationwide. The Biden Administration showed swift and steady leadership in urgently addressing the crisis. The President and leading Democrats in Congress continue to push for stronger regulatory oversight with respect to the banks. This shows that the Democrats are on the right side of the banking issue, as they have been for the 16 years following the 2008 financial crisis.
Last week, the Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments regarding President Biden’s $400 billion debt relief program. Two cases will be up before the Court that challenge President Biden’s Federal regulatory authority. The program aims to forgive $10,000 in student debt for borrowers earning less than $125,000 per year, while Pell grant recipients will be entitled to an additional $10,000 in debt forgiveness.
In August, President Joe Biden announced that his administration would be implementing a one-time student loan debt relief program for Americans with student loan debt. Since the announcement, the administration has posted guidance on the Department of Education’s website that explains the plan in detail and attempts to answer some FAQs. The website outlining the plan states that $10,000 worth of debt would be forgiven for Americans making less than $125,000 a year who have outstanding federal student loans. For those who received Pell Grants to pay for college, up to $20,000 worth of student loan debt would be forgiven. The website states that “the Administration will launch a simple application in October” that must be completed by the end of the year to determine whether borrowers qualify for debt forgiveness. That application is now available on the Federal Student Aid website.
In an effort to deter corporate crime, the Justice Department (DOJ) has implemented a new policy aimed at giving chief compliance officers more authority. Chief Compliance Officers (CCOs) may now need to certify the integrity of their compliance programs and be personally liable if their programs do not “reasonably prevent and deter compliance issues.” According to Brian Michael, a former chief compliance officer (CCO), some industry professionals fear that such a policy would place compliance officers in a position to be personally liable for decisions that they have little say over. There is also worry that implementing such a policy would place CCOs in direct conflict with senior executives. However, Kenneth Polite, assistant attorney general in charge of the DOJ’s criminal division, insists that the new policy will place CCOs in a better position to ensure the integrity of their compliance programs. Polite hopes to force corporations to invest in compliance now rather than pay later.
Five years after the introduction of the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act(EFASASH) by Senator Kristi Gillibrand and Senator Linsey Graham, President Biden signed it into law on March 3, 2022. Without this law, employers could prohibit their workers who have experienced sexual assault or harassment from seeking recourse in court. With EFASASH, sexual predators and their employers will no longer be able to evade public accountability. In a world where eighty-one percent of women have reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment and or assault in their lifetime, forced arbitration of sexual assault and harassment claims have only worked as a silencing mechanism.
With the Biden administrations new proposed Title IX regulations set to be published in April of this year, attorneys and advocates alike have been left to speculate as to what changes the Department of Education (ED) will propose. Among this speculation, is a narrower question: will ED, in their proposed Title IX regulations, finally state directly that universities can be held liable for deliberate indifference to known sexual harassment perpetrated by a non-student guest? At this point, any answer to this threshold inquiry would be speculative, but there are a few indicators that suggest the answer may be yes.
On September 13, more than thirty members of Congress sent a letter to the Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, urging the Biden Administration to continue to build on the steps the administration has taken thus far to protect survivor-complaints from sexual misconduct. The letter emphasized President Biden’s clear interest in Title IX reform, celebrating many of the changes he has made since coming into office. However, alongside this praise, came the enumeration of several remaining concerns born out of the Trump Administrations widely criticized May 2020 Title IX regulations.
In the last days of the Trump administration, the Trump Department of Labor (“DOL”) finalized a rule that made it more difficult for socially conscious investments to be included in retirement plans. The Trump-era rule discouraged employer 401(k) and other retirement plans from offering funds from managers that consider Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) factors over investment returns or risk in their due diligence. Despite this, ESG funds continue to gain in popularity, and the new Biden administration has stated that it will not enforce the Trump-era rule as it considers reversing it.
Chandler Wright Associate Editor Loyola University Chicago School of Law, JD 2022 “Can I Venmo you?” is a phrase that many of us find ourselves saying on a weekly basis. Venmo has become not just a money-transfer application, but also a verb. In some ways, Venmo has also become a social media platform among friend …