Photo of Caroline B. Burnett

Multinational employers are facing a new era of globalization characterized by the polarized forces of cooperation and competition ─ a duality that makes for a messy business landscape. Our new report,  Globalization 3.0: How to survive and thrive in a new era of trade, tax and political uncertainty, aims to provide corporate leaders with a greater understanding of key trends so they can anticipate, influence and better prepare for the changing world order.

This report focuses on how the aforementioned forces of cooperation and competition are shaping policies in four key areas:

  • Data privacy
  • Investment
  • Labor and human rights
  • Tax

Alongside helpful insights, the report also identifies actions for companies to consider now to prepare for the next era of globalization.

Click here to view and download the full report.

On February 1, 2018, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) sent 1,000 Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letters (CSALs) to federal contractors informing them that they may be audited for compliance with federal non-discrimination requirements/affirmative action plans.

Continue Reading Federal Contractors: Be Prepared For An Audit In 2018

Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) introduced its voluntary Diversity Assessment Report for Entities Regulated by the SEC. The Report is intended to help SEC-regulated entities conduct self-assessments of their diversity policies and practices, and provides these entities with a template for submitting information about their self-assessments to OMWI. Conducting self-assessments and providing the information to OMWI are voluntary.

The SEC’s Report is in line with the recent demands from US shareholders demanding transparency and accountability when it comes to gender pay and commitments to creating more inclusive and diverse workplaces. We expect diversity and inclusion to remain at the forefront of legal issues facing employers for years to come.

Continue Reading SEC Invites Regulated Entities To Voluntarily Submit Self-Assessments Of Diversity Policies And Practices–Read This Before You Accept

We are pleased to announce our new “Employer Report” podcast series.

Each 15-minute episode gives an inside view into employment laws in various countries around the world, highlighting legislative changes, trends, and tips for US multinational employers. Our first five countries available now: Brazil, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, and Spain.

Download these episodes now on iTunes | Android | Stitcher | TuneInGoogle Play.

We put our heads together to come up with some predictions for 2018.

Read the Horizon Scanner for more details but, in a nutshell, we predict:

  1. Multiplying statutory obligations aimed at closing the gender pay gap
  2. A push to become data-privacy compliant before GDPR is effective May 25, 2018
  3. Growing paid leave benefits for families around the globe
  4. A renewed focus to protect company assets globally
  5. Consistent deal growth with a particular bent towards “insourcing” arrangements

Click HERE to get the full picture!

We are pleased to report that a California federal judge put to rest claims by a proposed class of Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. workers that they weren’t given adequate meal breaks and rest periods, saying the company was exempted from liability by a valid collective bargaining agreement.

In reconsidering a portion of his November ruling that granted the construction and engineering services provider partial summary judgment over various wage and hour claims brought by lead plaintiff Peter Zayerz under the California Labor Code, Judge Gutierrez acknowledged he had mistakenly failed to consider in his earlier decision whether the company was exempt from liability for the meal and rest period claims by a collective bargaining agreement that was in place between 2012 and 2015, the time period in which Zayerz’s claims arose.

“The court concedes that it failed to consider a material issue of law in its prior order, namely that the governing CBA exempts defendant from liability under the labor code for the meal and rest period claims,” Judge Gutierrez said.

With that, Judge Gutierrez awarded Kiewit summary judgment on all remaining claims and closed the case. Kiewit is represented by our own Arthur J. Rooney, Todd K. Boyer, Benjamin R. Buchwalter, Alexis Hawley and Melissa Logan.

The case is Peter Zayerz v. Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. et al., case number 2:16-cv-06405, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Find the write-up in Law360 HERE.

Our firm’s Global Chair, Paul Rawlinson, is currently in Switzerland at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting.

Paul believes that navigating multi-speed globalization will be the key challenge for business in 2018. We agree. For today’s employers, managing a global workforce requires complying with local labor and employment laws in multiple jurisdictions, staying abreast of rapidly changing regulations, handling the growing demands of labor unions and works councils, and moving talent quickly across borders. Accordingly, we work with multinational businesses to manage all of their employment needs, from day-to-day human resources requirements to critical global business change projects.

Read Paul’s post on the World Economic Forum’s website HERE.

Michael Brewer has joined Baker McKenzie as a Partner in its North America Employment & Compensation Practice, bringing more than 17 years of experience in a range of employment litigation and counseling matters.

Based in San Francisco, Michael defends employers facing wage and hour class and collective actions, alleged harassment, discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination and other employment-related claims. He has litigated more than 500 employment lawsuits to conclusion. Companies frequently call upon Michael to step into difficult cases even when handled by other firms. Michael has served as lead trial counsel on state and federal multi-district class actions as well as single-plaintiff cases throughout California. He has significant trial experience, and routinely counsels clients on the handling of termination and discipline decisions, workplace accommodation issues, litigation avoidance and all aspects of personnel management.

“Employment litigation and counseling is a key area of focus for many of our clients in California and throughout the US,” said George Avraam, Chair of the Firm’s North America Employment & Compensation Practice. “Michael’s extensive trial and appellate experience, covering a range of employment issues, will be a tremendous asset to our clients as they look for pragmatic, business-minded advice.”

Continue Reading Highly Regarded Employment Litigator Michael Brewer Joins Baker McKenzie

Our Baker McKenzie colleagues in our London office just shared their January 2018 Employment Law Update. Find it HERE.

Highlights include:

  • Increases to statutory payments for time off work
  • Tribunal claims: volume of claims increasing following abolition of tribunal fees
  • Brexit: proposed technical changes to employment laws published
  • Gender pay gap reporting: pressure on employers increases as government indicates that it will publish details of employers who have not yet registered on the government website

For more information, please contact your Baker McKenzie lawyer.

In mid-December, we hosted our Annual California Update in Millbrae, CA. We were so pleased to see many of you in attendance.

Our End-of-Year Newsletter will hit inboxes shortly, but until then – here’s our top 10 New Year’s resolutions for multinationals in 2018:

Continue Reading Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions For California-Based Multinational Employers