SEC Cracks Down on Sales of Private Securities
The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed civil charges against three brokerage firms, Felix Investments, EB Financial, and SharesPost, that trade shares of privately held technology securities. According to the SEC, fund managers at Felix and EB Financial misled investors and took undisclosed fees and commissions. SharesPost, an online exchange for private shares, reportedly brokered transactions and failed to register as a broker-dealer. EB Financial settled for about $310,000, and SharesPost and its founder will pay about $100,000 combined. Meanwhile the SEC is progressing with a lawsuit against Felix and its manager. US legislators are considering adopting new laws that would make it easier to trade shares on the secondary markets.
CA Case: Employer’s Cannot Require Doctor’s Notes
Employers that have sick leave policies requiring a note from a physician disclosing the reason for an absence should be wary of a recent development in case law. In EEOC v. Dillard’s Inc. a California court followed in the footsteps of a New York court, and held that Dillard’s attendance policy violated the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in requiring a note explaining the underlying condition that caused the absence.
Sears’ Recent Executive Contracts Emphasize Retention of Officers
Yesterday Sears filed a 10-K which included, as an exhibit, an offer letter to Executive VP Ronald Boire. The offer letter detailed a compensation plan that was laden with incentives for Boire to stick with the company. Every quarter for three years Boire is set to receive cash bonuses of $50,000. Additionally, he was offered a restricted stock grant worth $1,000,000 for relocating to Chicago. Existing Sears executives also received offers focused on retention. Longtime executive, and current chief accounting officer William Phelan, received an offer letter that included $400,000 in retention benefits, half in cash.
Skyrise Offices Filling Up Again
A recent survey of more than 24 buildings in Seattle and Bellevue reveals that class A office space shows that vacancies are being filled, and commercial rent is on the rise. Despite the improvement in the commercial real estate landscape, two Seattle high-rises continue to struggle to fill vacancies: the Columbia Center and 1111 Third Avenue, which have vacancies of 36% and 40% respectively.