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Regulatory and Legal Compliance Issues

According to the Yale Law Journal, (2014) legal and regulatory compliance is essential to the efforts of business to ensure their adherence to specifications, laws, guidelines, and regulations. The compliance effort is important to the organization because violating these legal and regulatory items can result in punishments allowed under the law. Lawsuits, criminal penalties, federal fines, and punitive damages may result when businesses don’t adhere to legal and compliance issues. 

Types of regulatory compliance regulations or laws include:

  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX)
  • Dodd-Frank Act (Dodd-Frank)
  • Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA)
  • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS)
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

Businesses in different industries must pay close attention to the legal and regulatory compliance issues that are relevant to them. For example, HIPAA must be adhered to in the medical, health care, and health insurance industries (among others). Dodd-Frank is relatively new legislation in place for the financial industry, including broker-dealers, banks, asset managers, and hedge funds. While every organization is affected by the reach of federal and state regulations, legal compliance and government regulatory issues most often apply to organizations and industries such as:

Agriculture | Aviation | Banks | Business Acquisitions | Business Mergers | Credit Unions | Home Builders | Insurance Companies | Mortgage Bankers | Mortgage Brokers | Real Estate Brokers | Title Insurance Companies | Transportation projects

Legal and Regulatory Environment

Businesses must know about, and adhere to, the regulatory laws that guide them. Because of its increasing importance in many organizations daily activities, many companies have hired compliance officers to ensure their firms’ compliance in all matters. Demands for trained compliance staff are so high in some industries that professional services firms have assembled teams of professionals to perform these legally required oversight tasks. In many cases, engaging a professional services firm can save the business money while providing access to a team of compliance professionals.

Compliance Policy

Each business or organization must advise its employees about the obligations of the firm to maintain and remain compliant. For this reason, each employee must maintain strict adherence to the laws and regulations relevant to them. Because compliance laws, regulations, guidelines, and policies change, all employees must be advised, and be retrained, to ensure that the company remains compliant.

Dangers of Non-Compliance

Sometimes, a legal and regulatory compliance program may be used to win a lawsuit or to gain other competitive advantage against a business. In some cases, documents relating to the business’s legal and regulatory compliance have been used to demonstrate a kind of admission of the business’s wrongdoing. It’s absolutely essential to prevent dangers like this from happening to the business. A specialist law firm should be consulted in the development and management of the company’s legal and regulatory compliance program. Bassett Law Firm, headquartered in Fayetteville, Arkansas, supports businesses in need of regulatory and legal compliance programs in Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.

Some compliance issues or anomalies can result during or as the result of an audit. For this reason, the business should be prepared to address and make right any post-audit issues. The business or organization mustn’t await remedying these issues until a better time or after a reorganization. A decision to knowingly delay rectifying a compliance item adds unnecessary risk to the scenario.

Unnecessary Complications

A company’s legal and compliance program can sometimes create legal obligations in court, prevent the businesses right to proper appeal, or complicate cross-examinations in a lawsuit. These problems are avoidable for the business or organization that works closely with a law firm specializing in these matters.

Whistleblowers

All businesses asking employees to report and identify internal wrongdoing must also avail employees of protection. “Whistleblowers” must know that the company protects their right to provide this information. If the business takes action against the employee because he or she reported internal wrongdoing, he or she may file a wrongful termination lawsuit that, if successful, can sully the business’s reputation and cost millions to settle. Employers must establish protections of these employees.

Background Reports

All businesses and organizations should require background checks of its future employees as part of its legal and compliance initiative. It’s necessary to engage a third-party, independent organization to perform these background checks. According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, employers aren’t discriminating against prospective employees when the company complies with the need to engage a third-party vendor to perform these checks.

Contact a Regulatory and Legal Compliance Issues Attorney

To discuss your agriculture and food law questions call the Bassett Law Firm LLP at 479.521.9996 or fill out the brief contact form to schedule a free initial consultation. The firm is located in Fayetteville, Arkansas and has experienced attorneys with the knowledge to meet your needs in Oklahoma, Missouri, and Arkansas.