On September 12, 2014, legal professionals gathered at The Bar Association of San Francisco’s International Employment Law Conference. Four workshops, presented in morning and afternoon sessions, counted for 7.5 hours of continuing legal education credit. Speakers included Roxane Marenberg and other executives in compliance, and topics ranged from whistle-blower protections to international labor standards.
The conference kicked off with “Up in the Air: What You Absolutely Need to Know before Sending U.S. Employees to Work Abroad.” Presented by a managing director from BlackRock, Inc., and a representative of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP, the workshop covered employment structures, documentation, compensation and benefits, and best practices for termination.
In the second workshop, “The International Whistleblower: Legal Protections and Compliance Challenges,” Roxane Marenberg and three co-presenters discussed a wide range of topics, including extraterritoriality related to the Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley reforms and how the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of International Affairs triages complaints from whistle-blowers in foreign countries.
Other presentations gave information on the International Labour Organization and global labor standards, as well as what legal professionals in the United States need to understand about mergers and acquisitions in the European Union.
On September 12, 2014, the Labor and Employment Law Section of The Bar Association of San Francisco hosted the International Employment Law Conference. Held at the bar association headquarters on Battery Street and sponsored by inventus, the event offered seven and one-half hours of continuing legal education credit and began with a session entitled, Up in the Air, which covered crucial factors for U.S. companies to consider before sending their employees to work overseas, including issues of documentation, taxes and benefits, and termination. The event’s panel on legal protections and compliance issues as applied to international whistleblowers offered information on global concerns for global operations, as well as updates to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Its featured speakers included Thad Guyer of the Government Accountability Project, SEC staff attorney Carlos Vasquez, and Roxane Marenberg, vice president of the compliance governance office and legal services at Cisco Systems.
Offering guidance targeted at business operations in specific international regions, the International Employment Law Conference also presented Mergers and Acquisitions in the EU. The event concluded with a segment, led by Penningtons Manches partner Chris Syder, dedicated to international labor standards. The London employment law professional explored the purpose and guidelines of the International Labour Organization, including such pertinent regulatory topics as forced labor and human trafficking.
Roxane Marenberg has leveraged her extensive legal experience to practice in both the federal and private sectors, having served as an attorney within the U.S. Department of Justice and a labor and employment partner at two Washington, DC, law firms. She joined Cisco Systems, Inc., as a senior director of Human Resources, Legal, and Employee Relations in 2005 and currently serves as the firm’s vice president, deputy general counsel of Global Compliance Enablement.
In 2010, Roxane Marenberg received the Best Labor & Employment Lawyer Award at the inaugural ceremony of the Best Bay Area Corporate Counsel Awards. The commendation, which was jointly sponsored by the San Francisco Business Times and the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, highlighted leading in-house corporate lawyers throughout the region.
In recognition of this honor, Ms. Marenberg was featured in the March issue of the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, where she offered insight into effective strategies for solving personnel issues within an organization as expansive as Cisco. Focusing on problem prevention, she noted consistent policymaking and adequate human resources education as key factors to successful employee relations. Ensuring the application of fair and consistent policies can limit complications in disciplinary situations. Additionally, Ms. Marenberg stated the importance of maintaining relationships with a corporation’s numerous divisions to mediate conflict before it becomes problematic.
As the vice president and deputy general counsel for global compliance enablement at Cisco Systems, Inc., Roxane Marenberg helps the company establish compliance programs in line with a number of different legal frameworks, including the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which have been in place since 1987 and were designed to create a uniform sentencing policy within the U.S. federal courts. The guidelines apply to felonies and more serious misdemeanors. They are non-binding so as not to interfere with a person’s Sixth Amendment rights, but judges take them into account when determining sentences.
The guidelines suggest sentences based upon the seriousness of the crime, as well as the criminal history of the offender. They are quite granular, detailing 43 levels of seriousness based upon the type of crime committed and modified by special characteristics relating to the particulars of the crime. In a fraud sentencing, for instance, the length of prison time suggested is affected by the amount of the dollar loss involved in the fraud. In a robbery, brandishing or use of a firearm increases the seriousness of the crime.
Judges may also take into account a number of other factors through the guidelines. Sentences can be adjusted based upon obstruction of justice, the degree to which the defendant participated in the crime, whether or not the defendant has accepted responsibility for the crime, and other factors. To learn more about the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, visit http://www.ussc.gov.