From the October 2009 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

No Work Allowed!

Sidebar to the Experts Corner article "Look Before You Lay Off"

More On Legal & Compliance

from The Advisor's Professional Library
  • Suitability and Fiduciary Duty Recommending suitable investments is more than just a regulatory obligation.  Many investors bring cases claiming lack of suitability, so RIAs must continuously put the onus on clients to notify the advisor of changes in their financial situation.  
  • Client Commission Practices and Soft Dollars RIAs should always evaluate whether the products and services they receive from broker-dealers are appropriate. The SEC suggested that an RIA’s failure to stay within the scope of the Section 28(e) safe harbor may violate the advisor’s fiduciary duty to clients, so RIAs must evaluate their soft dollar relationships on a regular basis to ensure they are disclosed properly and that they do not negatively impact the best execution of clients’ transactions.

The use of furloughs is increasingly popular throughout many industries, but when employees are furloughed, the employer must make it clear that the employee must not do any work whatsoever. Given the myriad of remote access devices that we all have these days (including laptops, PDAs, e-mail, voice mail), it is likely that some exempt employees will be inclined to check their e-mail, return phone messages, or otherwise "work" while on furlough. However, as exempt employees are entitled to pay for any workweek in which any work is performed, employers should clearly advise that work is not authorized during any furlough period without advance written approval.

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