Head Chair: Vivian Nguyen Vice Chair: Doug Caylor Moderator: Ryan Foundoulis
Position papers will be due on February 5, 2016. The position paper format and all other important conference documents can be found on our conference website,http://lhhsconference.weebly.com/delegates. Email all position papers to our committee email: lhhsFortune500@gmail.com. Feel free to contact us via email if you have any questions or concerns.
Hello, delegates! My name is Vivian Nguyen, and I will be your head chair for the Fortune 500 Summit. I am currently a senior at Laguna Hills High School and am in my fourth year of MUN. My name is Doug Caylor, and I will be your vice chair for this committee. I am currently a junior at Laguna Hills High School, and this is my third year in MUN. My name is Ryan Foundoulis, and I am the moderator for the Fortune 500 Summit Committee. I am currently a sophomore at Laguna Hills High School, and this is my second year in MUN. The Fortune 500 Summit is a meeting for leaders of US business: top CEOs, policymakers, and experts. Companies cover the entire industry, ranging from retail companies to oil industry companies to car manufacturers. Delegates will represent the chief executive officer (CEO) of their respective companies. I look forward to meeting all of you at our conference and hearing your resolutions on the following issues!
Topic A: Corporate Espionage Background: Corporate espionage has been a dangerous element of the business community since the debut of corporations and competitive open-market systems. Corporate espionage is the act of one company spying on another to gain intelligence of designs, techniques, and ideas to further improve their own products, services, etc. Corporate espionage is nearly always committed for commercial interest as opposed to national security or mutual gain. Forms of corporate espionage include the abduction of trade secrets, blackmail, bribery, and technology surveillances. All stolen assets are then used as a form of leverage for a given company to perform over the victim company. One such example of corporate espionage was the case between Volkswagen and General Motors, in which GM’s chief of production, along with seven other executives had abandoned GM to work for Volkswagen. General Motors claimed that corporate secrets were used by Volkswagen and sued, leading to the largest corporate settlements of the kind. Corporate espionage continues to affect businesses all across the market in various manner ranging from intellectual theft to private information exploitation.
U.S. Government Involvement: In recognition of the importance of the protection of intellectual property and trade secrets to the United States economy, the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA) was published by the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) in 1979 and amended in 1985. Since trade secret law is predominantly governed by state law in the US, the UTSA provides a measure of uniformity. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) of 1986 is a federal statute that punishes criminal and civil actions related to intentional computer hacking. In 1996, Congress enacted the Economic Espionage Act (EEA). This act consists of two provisions that criminalize the theft of trade secrets. The first provision, section 1831, addresses foreign economic espionage and requires that the theft is carried out to benefit an alien government, organization, or agent. The second provision, section 1832, makes economic espionage, regardless of who benefits, illegal. The theft includes the duplication of a trade secret with the intention to economically benefit and/or the conspiracy to do so. The Theft of Trade Secrets Clarification Act of 2012 amended the EEA to cover not only trade secrets that are included in products for manufacturing, but also trade secrets related to products or services intended for use in commerce. The penalty for corporate espionage varies. Individuals may be fined up to $250,000 or twice the loss or gain associated with the offense, or they may be put in prison for no more than ten years. Companies that engage in trade secret theft can be fined up to $5 million or twice the gain or loss for using stolen secrets for business interest. The EEA not only applies to US citizens, but also perpetrators who victimize US citizens or those who affect the US substantially.
Questions to Consider:
What can a company do to prevent mass hacking of their databases?
What are your company’s main methods for obtaining consumer and competitor information?
How can different companies collaborate in this summit to develop better strategies to prevent corporate espionage?
How should the international community react to corporate espionage?
To what extent should the international community be involved in both public and private corporations in terms of preventing telephone and computer tapping and infiltration of the workforce?
Topic B: Maternity/Paternity Leave Background: Maternity/paternity leave has taken an extensive amount of time to develop, with relatively ineffective or unhelpful policies. The emergence of the maternity leave occurred namely in the early 1910s with the European’s National Insurance Act, which had given a maternity bonus to aid women who were incapable of work during and immediately after pregnancies. In the 1940s as women entered the workforce in greater numbers, debate opened about the “double burdens” of mothers in work. In 1980, maternity grants were removed from funding, running the maternity aid into collapse and not being able to aid in providing mothers with help. The United States passed the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, mandating a minimum of 12 weeks of unpaid leave for mothers of newborns or newly adopted children. In Europe, laws passed in 1999 called for three months of unpaid parental leave, and up to eighteen weeks for mothers. Up to the present, paid maternity or paternity leave remains patchy and depends greatly on the governing body which presides over a given region. Several advanced countries, such as the United States, remain largely aloof from financial support for maternity/paternity leaves.
U.S. Government Involvement: The Pregnancy Discrimination Act enacted in 1978 prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth. In 1993, former President Bill Clinton signed the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) into law. The act improved access to job-protected leave for one’s own serious illness and for new parents, both men and women, for numerous caregiving purposes, including care for a newborn child, an adopted child, and a sick family member. The act guarantees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave annually, continued health insurance benefits provided by the employer, and return to the same or an equivalent job at the company. However, the law does not require employers to pay employees during their leaves and does not cover companies with fewer than fifty employees. Thus, the benefits provided by the FMLA for employees are few. Several U.S. states have enacted legislation more generous than the FMLA--providing more than 12 weeks of unpaid leave, instituting programs that provide partial wage replacement, and enacting programs to provide paid family leave. The United States is the only high-income country, and one of only eight nations worldwide, that does not mandate paid parental leave, and only a small portion of companies provide paid leave to both mothers and fathers voluntarily. Congress introduced the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act (FAMILY Act) in December 2013 to create an insurance fund that would ensure paid leave for all workers. However, the act has yet to be signed into law.
Questions to Consider:
Does your company have a history of pregnancy discrimination cases?
Does your company grant paternity leave? If so, under what conditions (duration, age of child, paid/unpaid)?
What can your company do to ensure gender equality in terms of maternity and paternity leave?
What paperwork does an employee need to supply to obtain parental leave?
How can different companies from various sectors collaborate to establish a common parental leave law?