Today, an estimated 40 million people are living in modern day slavery—including an estimated 16 million individuals in forced labor across global supply chains.

Given the importance of this issue, we are proud to introduce a new publication, Eradicating Slavery: A Guide for CEOs. Prepared by the B Team in partnership with Baker McKenzie, this guide provides practical guidance and examples of successful collaboration among companies to help end modern slavery.

While there’s been increasing concern and interest from business around tackling modern slavery, to date corporate leaders have been unsuccessful in meaningfully moving the needle to end this horrific practice. The B Team’s Guide seeks to help the private sector understand its responsibility and power in making a real impact on this issue and bringing freedom to those who need it most.

Click here to access the guide.

As we previously reported, New York State’s new sexual harassment prevention policy and training requirements take effect today, October 9, 2018.

After issuing draft documents in August, the State released final guidance clarifying the new requirements just last week, giving employers little time to get their ducks in a row before the October 9 deadline.

Continue Reading Effective Oct. 9, 2018: NY State Sexual Harassment Policy & Training Requirements

California just became the first state to require companies to put female directors on their boards.

“Given all the special privileges that corporations have enjoyed for so long, it’s high time corporate boards include the people who constitute more than half the ‘persons’ in America,” Governor Jerry Brown wrote in signing Senate Bill 826 into law on September 30. The legislation appears sparked by recent debates around sexual harassment, workplace culture and gender equality, and it comes less than one year after Brown signed the state’s salary history ban.

Continue Reading California Becomes First State To Mandate Female Board Of Directors

With the modern workforce comes modern employment problems. Businesses and workers alike have embraced the “gig economy,” but employment laws were not designed for workforces dominated by independent contractors and freelancers. This disconnect leaves gig economy businesses open to significant liability where such workers should have been classified as employees under the law.

Continue Reading New York Delivers Good News For Independent Contractors, But Risks Remain

Last month the California Supreme Court ruled in favor of a class of 1,400 student bus drivers who sued their employer for failing to comply with state background check laws. The Court’s decision is notable because it is part of a broader trend of states and cities making it more difficult for employers to use background checks. Under Connor v. First Student, Inc., employers in California must comply with overlapping statutes regulating investigative consumer reporting agencies.

Continue Reading California Supreme Court Pro-Employee Ruling Affirms Employer Duty To Comply With Overlapping Background Check Laws

New York state just released draft guidance and models for employers to comply with the state’s new sexual harassment prevention policy and training requirements, which go into effect on October 9, 2018. The state is encouraging comments from the public, employers and employees through September 12, 2018, which can be submitted through the state’s website.

Continue Reading New York State Releases Proposed Sexual Harassment Prevention Guidance

Craig Lee and Will Woods from Baker McKenzie’s Antitrust & Competition team shared the following update regarding no-poach agreements:

In July 2018, State Attorneys General from 11 states formed a coalition to investigate no-poach agreements in franchise contracts that restrict the ability to recruit or hire employees from the franchisor or another franchisee of the same chain. As part of the investigation, the coalition requested information about no-poach policies and practices from several fast food franchises.

Continue Reading Risks Of Employee No-Poach Agreements

Last week, in Troester v. Starbucks Corporation (Case No. S234969), the California Supreme Court weighed in for the first time on the viability of a de minimis defense to California wage and hour claims.

Many commentators have since rushed to declare that “de minimis” is dead. Not so.

Continue Reading California Supreme Court Leaves Open The Possibility Of A De Minimis Defense For Wage And Hour Claims – But Not Under The Facts Of This Case

On July 24, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) – the investigative agency within the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement responsible for Form I-9 Compliance – announced that it served I-9 audit notices to more than 5,200 employer since January as part of a two-phase nationwide worksite enforcement operation.

Last week, HSI served 2,738 Notices of Inspection and made 32 arrests. (In contrast, HSI initiated 1,360 I-9 audits in the government’s last fiscal year.)

HSI’s latest worksite investigation effort aligns with then Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan’s forecast in the fall of 2017 to potentially quadruple or quintuple worksite enforcement in 2018. Under prior administrations, ICE has utilized worksite enforcement tools to assess employers’ compliance with immigration laws and impose civil and, potentially, criminal penalties. Yet, with the number of NOIs and arrests showing no signs of stopping under the directive Buy American, Hire American Executive Order, Form I-9 compliance is once again a front and center issue for employers.

Click here to learn about actions employers should take now to prepare for a potential audit notice.

While immigration debates, policies and rules make the news seemingly every day, very few new laws or regulations have actually been implemented for employment-based immigration. Behind the scenes, however, strict new interpretations of existing laws and under-the-radar changes in enforcement have significantly impacted the ability of companies to transfer, hire and keep foreign employees in the United States. Several key changes have been buried in seemingly innocuous policy memorandums and government websites. The impact on companies can be both real and urgent.

While these changes have occurred in different areas, there is one central theme: there is little to no margin for error on the part of employers or employees. Click here to view the four tips employers should consider in this ever-changing environment where compliance is paramount.