FindLaw Opinion Summaries - Family Law
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Daily family law case summaries, brought to you by FindLaw.com.
What GAO Found Nonexecutive employees at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) who responded to GAO’s survey identified strengths and areas for improvement in CFPB’s personnel practices and culture. Most respondents agreed that enthusiasm for CFPB’s mission is high and that immediate supervisors respect and value differences among individuals. However, GAO’s survey found heightened concerns related to fair treatment, trust that employees can raise concerns without fear of reprisal, confidence in complaint processes, and other matters. For survey items on these issues, more than 25 percent of respondents bureau-wide had unfavorable views, and dissatisfaction was above 35 percent in some CFPB offices and demographic groups. For example, about one-third of respondents disagreed with the statement that success at CFPB is based more on merit than on personal connections or favoritism. Disagreement was 40 percent or more for a few offices that focus on examining institutions and among black respondents. As part of ongoing improvement efforts and in response to challenges it identified in late 2013 and early 2014, CFPB has worked to strengthen personnel management practices and enhance its diversity and inclusion efforts. In part to address weaknesses in personnel practices that may have contributed to perceptions of unfair treatment, CFPB has expanded management training, developed new guidance on personnel practices, and developed a new performance management system. CFPB has made progress in adopting leading diversity management practices identified in prior GAO work, such as finalizing a diversity strategic plan, creating employee diversity groups, and expanding diversity training. In addition, CFPB launched a new initiative to strengthen its organizational culture that includes obtaining employee input on ideas for improving CFPB’s culture and addressing employee concerns. Finally, CFPB has strengthened its employee complaint processes by providing new training and guidance and creating feedback mechanisms to help evaluate progress in some areas. CFPB has taken steps to measure and communicate progress on these efforts, such as through its process for analyzing feedback from employee surveys. However, without additional steps in these areas, CFPB may miss opportunities to help ensure sustained commitment and accountability for its initiatives. CFPB’s diversity, inclusion, fairness, and culture efforts represent a significant change management initiative, but CFPB does not comprehensively report on its implementation goals and progress across these efforts. CFPB has created some feedback mechanisms to evaluate the effectiveness of its equal employment opportunity complaint process, but has not done the same for its employee grievance processes. Why GAO Did This Study The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act created CFPB to regulate the provision of consumer financial products and services. In 2014, congressional hearings included testimony from CFPB employees about allegations of discrimination and retaliation, which raised concerns about CFPB’s management practices and culture. GAO was asked to review personnel management and organizational culture issues at CFPB. This report examines (1) CFPB employees’ views on these issues and (2) CFPB’s efforts to strengthen personnel management and culture, among other objectives. GAO reviewed relevant CFPB reports, policies, procedures, and other documents; surveyed CFPB employees and executives (with 62 and 63 percent response rates, respectively) to gather their views on CFPB’s personnel practices and organizational culture; spoke with CFPB employees who contacted GAO through its phone and email hotlines; interviewed CFPB officials; and reviewed reports and recommendations from the Office of the Inspector General for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and CFPB. What GAO Recommends GAO makes two recommendations to improve CFPB’s personnel management efforts, including developing a strategy for reporting on progress and creating feedback tools on its grievance processes in coordination with its employee union. CFPB concurred with both recommendations. For more information, contact Daniel Garcia-Diaz at (202) 512-8678 or email@example.com.
January 18, 2017 BOS 2017-012 OSHA orders Amtrak to reinstate, pay $ 892K to employeedischarged in violation of Federal Railroad Safety Act BOSTON – The National Railroad Passenger Corp., better known
OSHA News Release
What GAO Found The Department of Defense (DOD) has captured and reported more comprehensive cost information in its environmental cost reporting for installations closed under the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process since GAO last reported on the issue in 2007. For example, GAO reported in 2007 that the costs DOD reported for environmental cleanup for installations closed under the 2005 BRAC round were not complete; however, since fiscal year 2009, DOD’s annual reports to Congress on environmental cleanup have included cleanup costs for all identified munitions and contaminants. For example, DOD estimated as of September 30, 2015, that it will need about $ 3.4 billion to complete environmental cleanup for installations closed under all BRAC rounds, in addition to the approximately $ 11.5 billion it has already spent. Despite this improvement in reporting, DOD has not reported to Congress in its annual report that the removal of certain emerging contaminants (i.e., contaminants that have a reasonable possible pathway to enter the environment, present a potential unacceptable human health or environmental risk, and do not have regulatory standards based on peer-reviewed science) will be significant. Without DOD including in its annual report to Congress its best estimate of these increased costs, Congress will not have visibility into the significant costs and efforts associated with the cleanup of emerging contaminants on BRAC installations and therefore will not have the necessary information to make more informed funding decisions. DOD has used a variety of methods since GAO’s 2007 report to continue to make progress in transfers of unneeded BRAC property. For example, as of September 30, 2015, DOD reported that it had transferred about 85 percent of its unneeded property identified in all BRAC rounds (see figure below). Despite this progress, installation officials stated that they continue to face challenges, such as navigating multiple regulatory agencies or disposing of radiological contamination, that increased the time it takes to clean up and transfer property. Installation officials GAO spoke with stated that they periodically reach out to officials at other installations, and across services, for help in learning how to expedite or resolve challenges, but there is no formal mechanism within DOD to capture and share this type of information. Installation officials further stated that a system to capture lessons learned would assist them in this effort. Without a mechanism to record and share lessons learned, installation personnel charged with implementing cleanup efforts are missing opportunities to share information and could duplicate errors made in the past. Disposition of Unneeded BRAC Acreage, as of September 30, 2015 Why GAO Did This Study The environmental cleanup of bases closed under the BRAC process has historically been an impediment to the expeditious transfer of unneeded property to other federal and nonfederal parties. While DOD is obligated to ensure that former installation property is cleaned up to a level that is protective of human health and the environment, the cleanup process can delay redevelopment in communities affected by the BRAC process. The House Report accompanying the fiscal year 2016 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill includes a provision for GAO to update its 2007 report on the environmental cleanup and transfer of installations closed under BRAC. This report addresses the extent to which DOD has made progress in: (1) capturing and reporting environmental cleanup costs at installations closed under BRAC and (2) transferring excess property and mitigating any challenges. GAO reviewed DOD guidance, cost data, and property transfer data; visited installations selected from among those with the highest cleanup costs, as well as other factors; and interviewed DOD and service officials. What GAO Recommends GAO recommends that (1) DOD include in future reports to Congress that the cleanup of emerging contaminants will increase cleanup costs, and estimate such costs, and (2) share best practices on mitigating cleanup and property transfer challenges. DOD concurred with GAO’s recommendations. For more information, contact Brian Lepore at (202) 512-4523 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The department is asking the court to order the defendants to restore to the plan all losses, including interest or lost opportunity costs, which occurred as a result of their breaches of fiduciary duty; order the plan to set off the individual accounts of Smith against the amount of the losses, including interest or lost opportunity costs, which occurred as a result of his fiduciary breaches; appoint a successor fiduciary or administrator, at the defendants’ expense; and permanently enjoin the defendants from serving as fiduciary, administrator, officer, trustee, custodian, agent, employee representative, or having control over the assets of any employee benefit plan subject to ERISA. Additionally, the defendants are enjoined from engaging in any further action in violation of Title I of ERISA.
2015 EBSA News Releases
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