Skip to content
Photo of Guest Contributor

Following the Senate’s historic vote in favor of Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, the Federal Government announced on June 20, 2018 that recreational marijuana will become legal on October 17, 2018. In anticipation of Bill C-45 becoming law, the provinces have begun preparing a framework for regulating the production, distribution, sale, possession and consumption of cannabis. Ontario’s response is Bill 174. With legalization fast approaching, we outline below key aspects of Bill 174 and steps to help employers prepare for the new reality.

Click here for more specifics on the bill and how employers should prepare.

(Huge thanks to our own Jordan Kirkness and Susan MacMillan for sharing this with us.)

On June 26, the Supreme Court upheld President Trump’s controversial Executive Order 9645, commonly referred to as the Travel Ban, in a 5-4 decision.

The Travel Ban restricts entry into the United States for citizens of seven countries: North Korea, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Iran and Venezuela. The table below describes the impact of the ban for citizens of each country:

Country Impact
Iran All entry prohibited except by persons holding nonimmigrant student (F and M) and exchange-visitor (J) visas.
Libya Prohibited from entering the US as immigrants or on a business/visitor (B1/B2) visa. No other restrictions are expressly stated.
North Korea All entry into the US prohibited.
Somalia Prohibited from obtaining immigrant visas; nonimmigrant visas may be subject to heightened scrutiny.
Syria All entry into the US prohibited.
Venezuela Government officials and their family members are restricted from entry on a business/visitor (B1/B2) visa. Other visa holders may be subject to verification of traveler information.
Yemen Prohibited from entering the US as immigrants or on a business/visitor (B1/B2) visa. No other restrictions are expressly stated.

Click here to learn more about exceptions to the ban, and next steps for employers.

(With thanks to Lois Rodriguez from our Madrid office for preparing this post in collaboration with Yana Komsitsky.)

Before conducting workplace surveillance, employers who want to monitor their workplaces, even if they suspect their employees of stealing or other nefarious activity, should heed the recent European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) judgement in the case of Lopez Ribalda and others v. Spain.

In early January, the ECHR held in favor of five supermarket chain employees who had been dismissed after they were caught stealing on hidden cameras because the cameras had intruded on their right to respect for private and family life.

Continue Reading The European Court Of Human Rights Awards Damages To Five Employees Filmed Stealing From Their Employer

Seraphim Ma, a partner in Baker McKenzie’s Taiwan office, shares a broad overview of Taiwan’s new Act for Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals.

The Act provides a package of benefits designed to increase the desirability and convenience for foreign nationals to work in Taiwan. Currently, the Executive hopes to promulgate the Act by the end of February. While the Act is limited in applicability to specific fields, the passage of this legislation marks the start of an exciting era for Taiwan as it begins to compete for foreign talent.

Continue Reading Taiwan Passes Act To Encourage Employment Of Foreign Professionals

[As reported by our Baker McKenzie Compensation colleagues]

As of December 20, 2017, both the House of Representatives and the Senate have voted to approve the final version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, in substantially the form released by the Conference Committee on December 15th. The bill is expected to be presented to the President for signature before Christmas, making US tax reform a reality for 2018.

What’s In? From a Compensation & Benefits perspective, among other things, the approved bill includes:

  • Significant changes to Code Section 162(m);
  • A new tax deferral regime for options and RSUs granted by private companies;
  • Elimination of exclusion for fewer than expected employer-provided fringe benefits; and
  • Increased disallowance of compensation-related deductions under Code Section 274.

What’s Out? Fortunately, the final bill does not include a Senate proposal to require the use of a first-in-first-out (FIFO) methodology when calculating capital gains on sale of shares, nor does it add back any of the changes to non-qualified deferred compensation that were proposed in the initial House version of the bill. Also, most of the changes proposed to qualified retirement plans have been eliminated.

Continue Reading Breaking News! Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Expected To Come Into Effect In 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act proposes sweeping changes to the taxation of executive compensation and employee benefits. It aims to be effective as of January 1, 2018 – which means limited time to react.

This week our friends over at the Compensation Connection published a helpful alert regarding the proposed tax reform bill.

Click HERE to read a detailed outline of the key proposed changes.

Contact your Baker McKenzie lawyer for more details and stay tuned!

Slavery and human trafficking has become a priority for many governments around the world.

The UK Government passed the Modern Slavery Act 2015 to simplify and bring up to date the criminal law in relation to modern slavery and human trafficking. The Act (section 54) imposes a new obligation on UK businesses to publish an annual slavery and human trafficking statement setting out the steps it has taken to ensure slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in any part of its business or supply chain.

What businesses does this impact?

The requirement applies to all businesses that supply goods or services in the UK provided that it has an annual turnover of £36m. It does not need to be a UK registered entity. The turnover does not need to be UK turnover, provided it supplies some goods or services in the UK. The turnover of subsidiary entities (but not parent entities) is included in assessing whether the threshold is met. There is no requirement for the organisation to have a minimum number of employees, a minimum balance sheet total, or to be incorporated (or formed, if it is a partnership) in the UK. As a result, these rules will have extraterritorial effect and apply to a much wider range of organisations than just large companies under the UK Companies Act.

For more, read the informative alert (here) authored by our colleagues in London, Monica Kurnatowska and John Evason.

Reach out to your Baker McKenzie lawyer for the steps businesses should be taking to ensure compliance with the Modern Slavery Act,  as well measures to consider taking with both suppliers and within your own business to address issues of modern slavery.