Draft ISO 14001:2015 Standard Available for Public Comment

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The following post is provided by our guest author, Karen Lutz from TRC Environmental Corporation. Karen can be reached at klutz@trcsolutions.com. 

The revision of the ISO 14001 standard is now open for public comment, with the final standard publication expected in 2015, affecting over 280,000 certified organizations worldwide. Once final, the standard is expected to be in place until 2025.

Keeping the standard current with today’s environmental challenges, as well as positioning for future emerging trends, are core motivating factors in updating the standard. Environmental liability continues to expand beyond regulatory compliance to include operational, reputational and strategic business risk management. The new standard is shaping up to support environmental risk management as a core business objective and will therefore affect cross functional segments of the organization including environmental managers and business leaders. Continue reading this entry

Generation Y Boosts Auto Sales

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Auto sales continue to climb, rising almost 10% from a year prior. But one metric in particular caught our eye here at the Dashboard: Generation Y buyers exceeded Generation X buyers for the first time…ever. Specifically, for the first half of 2014, Generation Y bought 26% of all new vehicles, compared to 24% of Generation X. (Don’t worry Baby Boomers, you still lead at 38%.)

What does this mean for the industry? It is getting younger. Everyone will assume that these younger buyers want the best technology in their cars. Others note that these younger buyers are fixated on price. Considering the rise of student loan debt, this should not be a big surprise. Continue reading this entry

Center for Automotive Research Event - Traverse City

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Automotive executives and other industry participants gathered in Traverse City this week for the annual Center for Automotive Research (CAR) Management Briefing Seminars. And, as usual, CAR put on another great show! Several of us from Foley attended, to stay on top of leading industry trends and to enjoy a beautiful Pure Michigan setting with friends and colleagues. One of the presentations of interest was a short talk by Daniel Poneman, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy. Mr. Poneman, a Toledo native, started out by discussing the great “war” between Ohio and Michigan over Toledo in the 1830s. If you are a Toledoan, Ohio “won” that war and got Toledo but as a former Toledoan myself who felt the sting of out of state tuition at the University of Michigan, differing conclusions can be reached. Continue reading this entry

EEOC Effectively Declares Pregnancy a "Disability" Requiring Reasonable Accommodation — Even When the Pregnant Employee Is Not Disabled

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The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has recently declared that pregnancy alone, even without other underlying medical conditions, may require employer accommodations such as light duty restrictions according to recent guidance released July 14, 2014. In a controversial decision splitting the commissioners 3-2, the EEOC broadcast a specific focus on pregnancy-related discrimination due to a continued uptick in charges and complaints over the past several years. With this in mind, automotive employers should consider taking a closer look at pregnancy-related requests for accommodation before deciding on a course of action. Continue reading this entry

Protection Against Foreign Anticompetitive Automotive Supply Chain Practices Affecting U.S. Activities

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Automotive industry participants may face increased costs and risk from wholly foreign anticompetitive activities far upstream in their global supply chain. Antitrust laws, like the Sherman Act, protect American markets from anticompetitive practices. But, under the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act (“FTAIA”), American antitrust laws only reach foreign conduct in specific circumstances. For example, an anticompetitive act committed abroad must, among other things, “directly” affect U.S. domestic, import, or certain export activities and the effect must give rise to a Sherman Act claim before U.S. courts may address it. An in-depth look at the cases discussed below can be found in Foley’s Antitrust newsletter but a quick overview is provided in this blog. Continue reading this entry