Originally published in Benefits Law Journal.

Champagne and a steak dinner have traditionally marked celebrations at the close of a corporate deal. Celebrations these days are being marred by a party pooper—Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) pension plan successor liability.

Increasingly, courts are delivering a “pay up now” notice to the buyer of financially challenged companies with underfunded pension plans through the use of innovative judicial remedies. On September 4, 2018, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals joined the Seventh and the Eighth Circuits in adopting a federal common law “categorical test” to impose withdrawal liability on a successor employer to a single employer pension plan.

Click here to read the full article.

The legalization of medical marijuana in several jurisdictions throughout the US presents employers with the difficult task of reconciling their anti-drug policies with those state statutes authorizing marijuana use for medical purposes. Adding an additional layer of complexity to this already uncertain landscape, is the growing number of states that have also legalized marijuana for recreational use. As state marijuana laws continue to grow and develop, employers must stay attune to how they approach employees’ off-duty marijuana use for both medical and recreational purposes.

Continue Reading Navigating Marijuana In The Workplace

In a global survey by WIRED Consulting, in collaboration with Baker McKenzie, we explore the big picture modern workforce questions above and discuss how companies are balancing these risks with the benefits of the flexible age. As frictionless innovations are likely to continue and deepen in the future, what lessons can be learned from corporate experiences so far? How can companies listen to their people and strike that balance between freedom and fixity?

Click here to read the full report.

Although federal and state laws have prohibited employment-related sexual harassment and sex discrimination for decades, the #MeToo movement inspired several states and local jurisdictions to pass laws targeting sexual harassment in the workplace more directly. The new laws address issues such as mandatory anti-harassment training, workplace policies, confidentiality in settlement agreements, and the arbitrability of sexual harassment claims. However, the specific requirements vary across jurisdictions.

Practical Law asked Robin and Meredith to share their insights about these legal changes and how multi-jurisdictional employers can best manage compliance challenges.

Click here to view the Q&A.

On April 1, the US Department of Labor proposed a new rule seeking to narrow the application of joint employer status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). A finding of joint employer status can impose joint and several liability on a business along with the hiring employer for the employee’s wages. By narrowing the test, the proposal brings potential good news to franchise businesses in particular.

The proposal outlines a “four-factor balancing test” for the Department to apply collectively in its assessment of whether a business is a joint employer with another.

Continue Reading How To Reduce Joint Employer Liability? DOL Proposes A New “Four-Factor Rule”

Last month, we reported that a federal court in Washington D.C. lifted the government’s stay of the revised EEO-1 form that requires companies to submit summary wage data by race/ethnicity and gender. Following the court’s order, uncertainty loomed concerning whether employers would need to include the additional data by the current EEO-1 Report deadline of May 31.

Yesterday, the EEOC took the position that the pay component of the revised EEO-1 form is due September 30 of this year. (The pay component requires data from “one single payroll period” of the employer’s choosing between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, 2018.)

We now await the response from Judge Tanya S. Chutkan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. In all likelihood, she will accept the EEOC’s proposal. Like you, we are on the edge of our seat . . . . More to come.

On March 28, 2019, the US Department of Labor announced a proposed rule to clarify that certain types of compensation and benefits can be excluded from an employee’s “regular rate” of pay, which is used to calculate overtime under the FLSA. This announcement follows the DOL’s recent proposal to increase the minimum salary requirements for the FLSA’s white-collar overtime exemptions, continuing the DOL’s efforts to update and modernize FLSA regulations.

Continue Reading US DOL Proposal To Clarify “Regular Rate” For Modern Workplace Practices

Today is Equal Pay Day in the US. It marks the date women need to work into 2019 to earn what men were paid in the previous year. (And, in fact, this particular date does not take into account that women of color are often paid less than white women.)

Collecting, sharing, maintaining (and possibly publishing) diversity data (of any type but including gender pay) remains a significant undertaking for employers. And the complexity compounds for multinationals.

While we are still waiting to see if the EEOC will begin collecting aggregate pay data by gender (READ MORE HERE), many countries outside the US already do (e.g. the UK and Australia).

The global trend towards requiring transparency is not slowing. Just recently, France, Spain and soon Ireland have jumped aboard.

Continue Reading France, Spain And Soon Ireland, Kick Off New Gender Pay Gap Reporting Requirements

With thanks to our colleague Lois Rodriquez (Baker McKenzie Spain)

Last month, the Spanish government passed several bills that will impact all companies with headcount in Spain – regardless of their size. These changes relate to gender equality plans, and the obligation for all companies to maintain daily records of employee work hours, including the specific beginning and ending times of each employee’s working day. Continue Reading Expansion Of Time Recording Obligation In Spain

Our Employment & Compensation practice is pleased to bring you the 2019 version of The Global Employer: Focus on US Business Immigration.

Whether you need information about a specific US visa type, or are looking for a high-level overview of employer obligations related to the movement of foreign nationals under US immigration and employment law, this handbook covers a wide range of topics and serves as a go-to desk-side guide for US employers.

Click here to order complimentary hard copies, or to download a PDF version.