Happy Mother’s Day! 

May 13 is Mother’s Day in the US, Australia and Canada. As such, it feels apropos to recognize the latest initiatives in the US and around the world aimed at increasing opportunities at work for working mothers (and caregivers more generally). Government-mandated maternity, paternity and parental leave and benefits, as well as robust childcare and eldercare infrastructure are among the most effective public policy investments for promoting gender parity in the workforce. As employers strive to retain working parents and increase female representation in corporate leadership roles, this article highlights how parental leave rights and related benefits are changing to reduce the burden of work-family conflicts on women and encourage men (and even grandparents!) to avail themselves of paternity leave and/or parental leave.

While the intended effects of new legislation in this area are of course positive, it can be challenging for US and multinational employers to navigate the patchwork of statutory requirements that offer varying entitlements based on differing circumstances. Even beyond managing simple compliance, many multinational employers also feel the pressure to stay competitive in the war for talent and to create human resources policies that can be managed centrally in a streamlined fashion, while also locally compliant in jurisdictions outside of the US.

Please click HERE to read our article. We focus on recent entitlements and related benefits made available to employees who manage caregiving responsibilities outside of work and share the updates multinationals need to know.

For more details, please contact your Baker McKenzie lawyer.

On April 30, the California Supreme Court issued an opinion radically changing the legal landscape for any company engaging independent contractors in California. Dynamex Operations West Inc. v. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County changes the legal test for determining whether workers should be classified as employees or as independent contractors under California’s wage orders. The Court scrapped the multifactor, flexible test (known as “Borello”) that has been used in California for decades. It adopted the “ABC” test, a standard that has its roots in determination of unemployment tax status in other states and presumes workers are employees instead of independent contractors.

This extraordinary decision will have far-reaching consequences for California companies reliant on independent contractors and likely spur a landslide of litigation for years to come. As such, we are recommending that companies engaging independent contractors in California, in any industry, work with counsel to revisit classification decisions and undertake a cost/benefit analysis of reclassifying workers in the near term.

For more, please read our alert HERE.

As efforts to narrow the gender pay gap intensify across the globe, we launch the first article in our new series. Click the photo below to read the article, which provides an overview of the international picture.

The International Response to the Gender Pay Gap

Stay tuned over the coming months for weekly insights highlighting what multinational employers need to know about the gender pay gap.

The California Supreme Court’s decision in Brinker v. Superior Court unleashed a flood of single-plaintiff and class-action lawsuits involving alleged violations of California’s meal and rest period laws. Under California law, employees are entitled to take at least one 30-minute uninterrupted, off-duty meal break no later than the end of their 5th hour of work. If employees work over 10 hours, they must be provided a second 30-minute meal period. Similarly, employees must also receive 10-minute rest periods for each 4 hour-period worked or major fraction thereof.

Continue Reading Take A Break To Remember Your Meal And Rest Period Obligations Under California Law

The new data privacy rules are just around the corner…are you ready?

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force May 25, 2018. GDPR introduces stricter requirements and higher penalties for violations, so it is important for companies to review their data privacy compliance not just with respect to customers but with respect to employees.

Join our upcoming webinar to review the new legal landscape under GDPR, discuss the different approaches for dealing with personal data after effectiveness of GDPR and consider the pros and cons of each approach.

Date: April 5, 2018

Time: 11AM – 12PM CST

Click here for more details on the webinar, including featured speakers. Register today to gain an understanding of the new rules and how to tackle them.

This week, the SEC publicized its largest-ever whistleblower awards, thereby underscoring the value of robust internal reporting procedures. On March 19, the SEC issued a press release announcing that three individuals will get more than $83 million for providing information to the agency to help bring a case.

Continue Reading Best Practices For An Effective Whistleblower / Internal Reporting Program In The US

We are pleased to present The Global Employer Magazine 2018 Horizon Scanner. Our easy-to-digest overview of global and regional trends and developments in global employer and labor law is designed to help equip you for the year ahead.

In this issue, we feature:

  • A global overview of the key trends and developments impacting global employers including nationalism and mobility, the gender pay gap, the rise of the modern workforce
  • Regional checklists for the year ahead and data privacy compliance
  • Regional outlooks looking at how the trending global employment law issues are playing out across Asia Pacific, EMEA, Latin America and North America

Click here to download.

Jordan Kirkness and Susan MacMillan in our Toronto office report that the government of Ontario announced yesterday that it will introduce new legislation to require certain employers to track and publish their compensation information.

The proposed legislation is part of the province’s initiative to advance women’s economic status and create more equitable workplaces (the initiative is titled “Then Now Next: Ontario’s Strategy for Women’s Economic Empowerment”). Yesterday’s announcement comes on the heels of last week’s budget plan in which the Canadian federal government outlined proposed proactive pay equity legislation that would apply to federally regulated employers — see here for our article on the proposed federal legislation.

For more on Ontario’s new pay transparency legislation, see here.

On February 21, 2018, the US Supreme Court narrowed the definition of the term “whistleblower” under the Dodd-Frank Act. The Court found that to be a “whistleblower” covered by Dodd-Frank’s anti-retaliation provision, an employee must report concerns about their employer’s conduct to the Securities and Exchange Commission. In other words, an employee who reports such concerns only internally is not entitled to protection under Dodd-Frank.

Continue Reading The US Supreme Court Narrows Definition Of “Whistleblower” Under Dodd-Frank