The first Labor Day holiday, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City. The idea came from the Central Labor Union. After a couple of years, the day moved to the first Monday in September and has been there ever since. In 1894, Congress made it a national holiday.
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One of the best things a company can do for its employees is to have an authentic compliance program. Clear rules against bribing foreign officials or anyone else make life as an employee a lot simpler and safer. That’s why the best companies to work for are those that do what they can to help their employees stay on the right side of the law.
Companies that ignore compliance, on the other hand, or settle for window-dressing programs, put every employee and stakeholder at risk. Even one worker who still thinks bribery might be OK sometimes is a weapon of corporate mass destruction. He can bring down the whole place — and spend years in jail — for doing something illegal that he thought might “help” the company.
The ingredients of an authentic compliance program don’t need to be complicated or expensive — board and management buy in, clear written policies, oversight, autonomy and resources, due diligence, risk assessment, constant advice and training, confidential reporting, consistent enforcement and incentives, and ongoing testing and improvement.
That’s the least board members and executives can do to protect all those who depend on the company being around tomorrow and the day after.
Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.