Compliance Bits and Pieces for November 5

Here are some interesting compliance related stories that caught my eye recently:

Does that Pass the Smell Test by Eilene Zimmerman in the New York Times‘ Career Couch

Q. Your boss has asked you to do something that seems unethical. How can you determine whether your suspicions are correct?

Ethisphere’s 20 Ethics & Compliance Officers ‘Who Matter’ by Bruce Carton in Compliance Week‘s Enforcement Action

Are you an attorney who matters in the world of ethics and compliance? Find out by checking Ethisphere’s Second Annual “Attorney Who Matter” list, which includes a section listing the top ethics and compliance officers of major companies. Ethisphere states that the attorneys chosen in the ethics and compliance category are people who are “using their positions to advance the cause of ethics and corporate compliance both inside and outside of their organizations.”

Naming and Shaming in the Economist

Congressmen working late into the summer nights to overhaul America’s system of financial regulation were surprised when Bono started lobbying them. Yet the rocker-cum-campaigner helped to insert a far-reaching change into the legislation they were drafting. It has nothing directly to do with America’s financial mess, but it will push forward the fight against corruption in the developing world, a cause which has made some much-needed progress recently.

Russian police uncovered 35,000 cases of corruption in Bloomberg

Major bribe-taking increased by 17.5 percent from January to September compared with the same period of 2009, the Interior Ministry said in a statement distributed to reporters today. The average size of a bribe increased 1.5 times to around $1,400.

Is Protecting Our Brand A 24×7 Responsibility? by Kathleen Edmond.

My point in telling this story is not to make Best Buy look like heroes. Rather, I’m more interested in the underlying ethical implications of the scenario. As individual employees, what is our responsibility to the Best Buy brand? When it comes to our ability to impact the brand perception of Best Buy, are we ever truly “off the clock?”

Proposed Whistleblower Rules Promote Internal Reporting by Bruce Carton in Compliance Week‘s Enforcement Action

In determining the amount of the award, one factor the SEC will consider is whether the whistleblower reported the potential violation through “effective internal whistleblower, legal or compliance procedures before reporting the violation to the Commission.” The proposed rule explains that the SEC will consider higher percentage awards for whistleblowers who first report violations through their compliance programs because “corporate compliance programs play a role in preventing and detecting securities violations that could harm investors.” The higher award is therefore intended to encourage whistleblowers to first report securities violations to their corporate compliance programs.

NLRB Alleges that Connecticut Company Illegally Fired Employee Over Comments on Facebook by Daniel Schwartz in the Connecticut Employment Law Blog

In an unprecedented case, the NLRB is pushing all in over the battle on social media. And its press release today leaves little doubt where it is placing its chips — strongly in the employee’s favor.

Violent Video Games and the Supreme Court in’s GeekDad

It’s not often you hear something like this said in court:

“Would a video game that portrayed a Vulcan as opposed to a human being, being maimed and tortured, would that be covered by the act?”

That question was asked in the highest court in the United States when Justice Sotomayor asked Zackery Morazzini, California’s Supervising Deputy Attorney General about a California law that bans the sale or rental of violent video games to minors.