Special thanks to Narendra Acharya, Aimee Soodan, Brian Wydajewski, Tulsi Karamchandani, Scott McMillen, Angelique Poret-Kahn, Melissa Allchin, Ginger Partee, John Foerster and Matthew Gorman.

And we thought 2020 was a doozy! In terms of continuing challenges, unprecedented questions and shifting legal landscapes, 2021 delivered.

Between maintaining business continuity and keeping your workforce safe, we know there’s been little time to track the rapidly changing employment, compensation and mobility law landscape – in Illinois, across the US, and globally.

This two-part webinar series, co-hosted by the Association of Corporate Counsel – Chicago Chapter, is designed to ensure that Midwest in-house counsel are up to speed on the top developments of 2021 and are prepared for what’s on the horizon in 2022. Join us for content-rich presentations and practical takeaways, covering the latest developments in employment, compensation and mobility, in two 75 minute sessions.

Our December 14th webinar will focus on Labor & Employment developments. Among other topics, you will hear about:

  • the latest in COVID-19 laws and developments affecting employers, and practical tips for implementing necessary changes and managing implications for your workforce
  • the changing terrain of restrictive covenants in Illinois, the US and globally, and best practices to keep your company protected
  • how pay equity laws, including new cutting-edge laws from several countries, are impacting employers’ local and global strategies

Date: Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Time: 1:00 pm to 2:15 pm CT

Click here to register for Part 1: Focus on Labor & Employment.

Our December 16th webinar will cover issues that are top-of-mind for companies in both Compensation & Benefits and Global Immigration & Mobility, including:

  • the current landscape of restrictive covenants and equity awards
  • an update on the newest developments and “hot topics” in global compensation issues
  • post-COVID business travel, including an update on international travel rules and an outlook on sponsoring visas for workers in the US
  • immigration related considerations of remote / hybrid work arrangements on US employers

Date: Thursday, December 16, 2021

Time: 1:00 pm to 2:15 pm CT

Click here to register for Part 2: Focus on Compensation & Benefits and Global Immigration & Mobility.

Attendance is complimentary but limited to ACC members, in-house counsel non-ACC members, and guests of the sponsor.

By registering, you agree that your name and email address will be provided for one-time use to Baker McKenzie (Sponsor) for virtual meeting management.

 We look forward to connecting with you at one or both sessions!

Special thanks to Ginger Partee, John Foerster and Matthew Gorman.

Noncitizen travelers can pack their bags. With certain requirements, noncitizen travelers will be allowed to travel to the US as of November 8, 2021, under President Biden’s Proclamation on Advancing the Safe Resumption of Global Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic. The new rules, which focus on the vaccination status of noncitizen travelers, replace the country specific restrictions that have been in place since March 2020. The proclamation also contains limited exceptions within the proclamation for noncitizen travelers who have not been vaccinated.

Critically, nonimmigrant visa holders always require US visa stamps to reenter the United States. Although the travel restrictions will be lifted for vaccinated travelers as described below, the US Consulates and Embassies remain closed for routine visa processing – meaning that travelers should expect long backlogs when scheduling visa stamping appointments. This could be a damper on travel for many foreign national visa-holders who have been “stuck” in the United States over the course of the pandemic and are looking to travel home during the holidays.

Click here to continue reading.

OSHA’s COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) is here, and employers have only about 30 days to start complying. On November 4, 2021, in response to President Biden’s call for an emergency standard (see our prior blog here), OSHA issued the ETS. As expected, the rule requires employers with 100 or more employees to ensure employees are either vaccinated or test weekly for COVID-19 .

Covered employers need to move quickly. First, by December 5th, 2021, employers must comply with several requirements under the ETS, such as providing paid time for employees to get vaccinated and requiring masks for unvaccinated workers in the workplace.

Next, covered employers must decide whether they will mandate vaccination for all employees or instead allow employees to test weekly in lieu of vaccination.  Employers who mandate vaccination must require employees to have their final vaccination dose – either their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or single dose of Johnson & Johnson – by January 4, 2022. Note that, in a departure from most existing vaccine mandates, employees do not have to be “fully vaccinated” by this deadline, and they just have to have had all required shots.  Employers who elect testing or vaccination must ensure that employees who have not received the necessary doses begin providing a verified negative COVID-19 test on at least a weekly basis after January 4.

Here’s what employers need to know now.

Require vaccines, or test and mask. The ETS requires employers with 100 or more employees to develop, implement, and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy-unless employers instead establish, implement, and enforce a policy allowing employees who are not fully vaccinated to elect to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at the workplace. If an employer implements a mandatory vaccination policy, the policy must require vaccination of all employees except those who have a medical contraindication to vaccination, those for whom a vaccine must be delayed out of medical necessity, or those legally entitled to a reasonable accommodation because they have a disability or a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance conflicting with the vaccination requirement. Employees who are granted reasonable accommodations do not have to be permitted to work onsite while masked, as other accommodations such as remote work may exist, but employers can choose to allow them to do so. Employers must ensure each of their workers are fully vaccinated or tested for COVID-19 on at least a weekly basis, and those who aren’t vaccinated must wear face coverings while indoors.

Continue Reading “OSHA ETS Day” Is Finally Here: What Employers Need To Know Now About OSHA’s Vaccinate, or Test and Mask Rule

Special thanks to Melissa Allchin and Lothar Determann.

And we thought 2020 was a doozy! In terms of continuing challenges, unprecedented questions and shifting legal landscapes, 2021 delivered.

Between maintaining business continuity and keeping your workforce safe, we know there’s been little time to track the rapidly changing employment law landscape in California — with our “quick hits” format, we will provide a content-rich presentation complete with practical takeaways in 75 minutes.

This webinar is designed to ensure that California in-house counsel are up to speed on the top employment law developments of 2021 and are prepared for what’s on the horizon in 2022.

Among other topics, you will hear about:

  • Best practices for drafting and rolling out vaccine and mask policies in California, including data privacy tips
  • Understanding the current landscape for arbitration agreements under AB 51
  • Significant changes to the Fair Employment and Housing Act and other major legislative developments like California’s newest board diversity requirement and new restrictions on severance and settlement agreements

Date: Thursday, December 9, 2021

Time: 1:00 pm to 2:15 pm PT

Click here to register.

Click here to watch our presenters describe this program.

We look forward to connecting with you!

What’s scarier than Halloween? For Illinois employers, it could be that they now have only approximately two months to prepare for Illinois’ new limits on employee restrictive covenants. On August 13, 2021, Illinois Governor Pritzker signed Senate Bill (SB) 672 (now Public Act 102-0358) into law, imposing new conditions on employers’ use of noncompete agreements and nonsolicitation agreements in Illinois. The law goes into effect on January 1, 2022, with Illinois joining the tide of states (as well as the federal government–see our blog on President Biden’s recent Executive Order addressing restrictive covenants here) cracking down on employers’ use of restrictive covenants.

Here’s what Illinois employers need to know now.

Employers have a couple of months to prepare–and don’t need to look back at prior agreements

The Act is effective for any contract entered into after January 1, 2022, and does not apply retroactively. Therefore, employers will not be required to inventory and assess agreements signed prior to the Act’s effective date.

Noncompete agreements banned for employees making $75,000 per year or less

The Act does not ban noncompetes for all Illinois employees, but instead for those making $75,000 per year in earnings or less. This salary threshold will increase by $5,000 every five years until it reaches $90,000 in 2037.

“Earnings” includes what employers might expect: earned salary, earned bonuses, earned commissions, or any other form of compensation reported on an employee’s IRS Form W-2.

Continue Reading Don’t Get Spooked By the New Restrictions on Restrictive Covenants in Illinois

Special thanks to guest contributor, Melissa Allchin

Corporate travel came to a standstill early in the pandemic, however with strong vaccination rates and the easing of quarantine requirements, companies are starting to plan to resume travel for meetings, conferences and employee incentives.

In this Quick Chat video, Baker McKenzie’s Labor and Employment and Global Immigration and Mobility partners discuss key considerations for employers before they proceed with business travel arrangements for those in the US and beyond.

Click here to watch the video.

We’re thrilled to announce the release of a new edition of The Global Employer: Focus on Global Immigration & Mobility.

In this 2022 edition, you’ll find:

An introduction providing “hot topic” information employers need to know now related to the movement of employees, focusing on large-scale global immigration, employment, compensation and tax issues.

Over 35 country chapters detailing specific immigration requirements related to various types of assignments.

Click here to request a complimentary copy for yourself or your colleagues.

On October 6, 2021, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti signed into law one of the strictest vaccine mandates in the country (Ordinance No. 187219, the “Ordinance”), requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination for patrons to enter a wide range of private establishments–more than just bars, wineries, or breweries. Employers who are covered by the Ordinance–which is similar to ordinances in New York, West Hollywood, and San Francisco–will have to quickly determine what changes they’ll need to make in order to meet the Ordinance’s requirements less than a month from now.

Here’s what businesses need to know now about the Ordinance.

Where does this matter?

The Ordinance applies to businesses operating within the city limits of Los Angeles, but not those in unincorporated areas of L.A. County.  North Hollywood?  Yes!  Santa Monica? No!

Continue Reading No Shoes, No Shirt, No Jab = No Entry: Proof of Full Vaccination Required in Los Angeles for Patrons to Enter Private Establishments

As companies call employees back to the physical workplace, more employers are electing to implement mandatory vaccination policies to keep employees safe amidst the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant. In turn, some employees are seeking accommodations, asserting that disabilities or religious beliefs prevent them from being vaccinated. Employers should develop consistent standards for handling such requests.

In this Quick Chat video, our Labor and Employment lawyers share guidelines for employers to consider as they encounter requests for accommodations from mandatory vaccination policies.

Click here to watch the video.

We are pleased to share a recent World Economic Forum article, “Work can be better post-COVID-19. Here’s what employers need to know,” authored by Stephen Ratcliffe and Julia Wilson that discusses the following:

  • The return to the workplace
  • Hybrid working as the new norm
  • Fostering inclusion, diversity and equity (IDE)

Click here to continue reading this Article.

This article was originally posted in the World Economic Forum.