In 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) solicited comment on ways to modernize Securities Act Rule 701 (“Rule 701”), the registration statement on Form S-8 (“Form S-8”), and the relationship between the two regulations. Following up on this effort, the SEC recently published several amendments to Rule 701 and Form S-8 to simplify
Three recently filed shareholder derivative lawsuits contain intentionally provocative allegations that, despite public statements emphasizing the importance of diversity within their respective organizations, the boards and executive management teams of Oracle, Facebook, and Qualcomm remain largely white and male, and have failed to deliver on their commitments to diversity. While calls to strengthen commitments to…
The COVID-19 pandemic is likely a watershed moment for the traditional structure of America’s business workforce. Although there is much uncertainty and opaqueness about the future, it seems clear that in the short term “remote” work arrangements – remote from large commercial office complexes and from concentrated city centers – will become more common for a substantial part of the workforce.
In the medium and longer terms, the pandemic may also support trends toward a more gig-based workforce in sectors of the labor market that are not currently significantly gig-based, specifically for workers in white-collar, business service industries. We lay out below a few of the reasons to anticipate that result and briefly explore the principal legal implications for business. As virtually all companies are considering the impact of the pandemic on their businesses, and specifically the cost-saving potential tied to remote work where feasible, they should take the opportunity now to also consider the possibility that gig-based workforce trends will impact them and how the steps they take in the short term may influence any such impact. For many public companies, the trends and issues discussed below fall under the umbrella of human capital management strategy, as to which the board of directors may be expected to exercise oversight.
Continue Reading The Gig is Up? COVID-19 & Remote Work Trend Toward Growth in Gig Labor*
While much of the focus today is on restarting segments of the economy and developing action plans to reopen businesses, history outside of corporate America teaches us important lessons on how incentives can play a role in driving effective outcomes. It shows us that incentives, not just rules, may be the solution businesses need. Consider the British prisoner dilemma over two centuries ago as a powerful lesson in incentives and how these lessons can be applied to the current pandemic.
Continue Reading Incentives in the Pandemic
On April 8, Institutional Shareholder Services (“ISS”) published additional guidance on application of its benchmark voting policies amid the COVID-19 pandemic. ISS had previously issued its 2020 benchmark policies update to be applied for shareholder meetings on or after February 1, 2020. Noting the societal and economic uncertainty wrought by COVID-19 since its prior update, ISS provides further guidance focused on four key areas:
- Annual General Meeting (“AGM”) Issues;
- Poison Pills, Shareholder Rights and Boards/Directors;
- Compensation Issues; and
- Capital Structure and Payouts.
Executive pay in the midst of the pandemic presents an obvious dilemma. On the one hand, it would be a stretch to blame fairly management teams for most of the adverse financial performance that will stretch across a broad range of industries. On the other, they cannot escape the consequences either.
Consider that while stock values may bounce back for many companies in the reasonably short term, it is unlikely that business will quickly return to the status quo ante. In some industries, the markets for products and services may change permanently; in other industries, supply chain and inventory management may also be permanently affected. Not least, rank and file employees and other stakeholders across the economy will suffer. Many executives will take short-term salary cuts in recognition of the hardship, but that is a preliminary and largely symbolic step and compensation committees need to find the right overall balance between reward and respect for the economic environment.
Continue Reading The Executive Pay Dilemma
The following post was originally included as part of our recently published memorandum “Selected Issues for Boards of Directors in 2020”.
Recent changes in political climates, legal reforms and social norms have had varying (and sometimes conflicting) impacts on how companies are run; however, they have all contributed to a growing demand that companies expand their focus beyond shareholder value creation.
Environmental, social and governance concerns dominate shareholder proposals and engagement efforts, and discussions of corporate…
Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code limits the deductibility of compensation paid by public companies to certain of their executives in any year to $1 million. The 2017 Tax Cuts and Job Act amended Section 162(m) to expand the number of executives at a public company whose compensation may be non-deductible by reason of…
On November 22, 2019, the First Circuit Court of Appeals held in Sun Capital Partners III, LP, et al. v. New England Teamsters & Trucking Industry Pension Fund, that two private equity funds, Sun Capital Partners III, LP and Sun Capital Partners IV, LP were not liable for approximately $4.5 million in multiemployer pension…