…including her opinion on an RHOBH housewife.
If there’s one thing we’re familiar with here at Ethena, it’s gray areas. (Have you seen our flagship Harassment Prevention course? Tricky, hard-to-categorize situations are pretty much our bread and butter.) But one gray area we haven’t historically talked much about is the gap between when a new law is announced and when it kicks in.
Once the proposed legislation takes effect, of course, we aim to make sure it’s front and center: you’ll see it in our content (when relevant), you’ll hear about it in emails from Ethena, and we’ll highlight some key information to help you determine exactly how it impacts your organization — and how we can help.
But going forward, we’ll also give you some insight into what’s on the horizon, courtesy of our very own General Counsel, Brandis Anderson.
Come for (thrilling! compelling!) sneak peek into what’s on the compliance horizon, and stay for Brandis’s occasional reality TV hot takes. And as a reminder, none of this is or should be taken as legal advice. It is for general informational purposes, and is simply…Brand(is) Awareness.
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has amended its Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information, known nearly ubiquitously as the Safeguards Rule. Starting May 13th, 2024, the new Safeguards Rule amendment will require financial institutions subject to the FTC’s jurisdiction to report “notification events” — defined as the acquisition of unencrypted customer info without the permission of the involved customer — involving 500 or more customers. These reports must be delivered to the FTC within 30 days of the event’s discovery, and include six key pieces of data such as a date range, description, and the number of folks affected.
- President Biden has issued an Executive Order on Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence, which is pretty much precisely what it sounds like, and likely indicates how the White House will address AI going forward. While the order doesn’t enact any new law, it’s full of information and directives relevant to the public and private sector alike, adding eight guiding principles including safeguards, privacy protections, worker supports, and innovation incentives.
- Speaking of AI, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Commissioner Keith Sonderling shared his perspective on the burgeoning technology, advising employers to proactively address the workplace changes that AI might herald. He recommends starting having those conversations about how to mitigate AI bias, and to make some basic HR and legal decisions now instead of waiting until the impacts are more directly felt.
- In November, New York governor Kathy Hochul signed into law — effective immediately — an expansion of a statute designed to protect those leaving their jobs subject to release agreements. The first version of the law was intended to curtail confidentiality agreements preventing victims of sexual harassment from disclosing that harassment, and it’s now been expanded twice: first, to include other forms of discrimination, and most recently to encompass “discriminatory harassment and retaliation” claims as well.
- Also in New York a new amendment to a labor law has instituted invention assignment provisions changes. These provisions are sometimes added to employee contracts in order to designate ownership over any intellectual property or inventions created during employment, and the new law makes them unenforceable in some employment agreements. (For example, the rights to ideas generated on the employee’s personal time without the use of company equipment, supplies, facilities, or trade-secret information will not necessarily need to be signed over to an employer.)
- The United Kingdom’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has cookies on the brain — specifically, those cookies collected by some of the U.K.’s most-visited websites. The ICO couldn’t help but notice that not all of those sites were conforming to data privacy laws in their user interactions; some weren’t giving consumers a clear enough option to reject all cookies and avoid having their activity tracked for advertising purposes. The companies that received communications from the ICO have been given 30 days to get into compliance, with the ICO promising to circle back in January 2024. (But even if you weren’t directly notified by the ICO, it might be a good time to take a peek at your own cookies settings. 🍪)
- The law firm Gowling WLG recently hosted a conversation on the common pitfalls of workplace investigations that’s well worth a watch. They walked through four areas where it’s easy to get tripped up: assigning the wrong investigator, unnecessary delays to the investigation, ineffective communications with employees on leave, and a failure to take reports seriously.
HOW ETHENA CAN HELP: Our Employee Hotline + Case Management tool is designed to be as painless and intuitive for admins as it is for reporters themselves. The platform allows you to assign the case in-app, messages you instantly if the status of the report changes or new information comes in from the reporters, and lets you communicate easily even with anonymous reporters.
- It must be snowing in Pasadena, because after a few seasons in the reality TV doghouse, Brandis says she might just be coming around on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills‘s own Erika Jayne… 👀 💎