We are increasingly seeing governments around the globe pass more progressive and compassionate legislation around families and pregnant women. For instance, in the US, there’s a new bill, known as the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, currently in the House and commentators believe it just might pass. The bill would clarify and strengthen the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which was passed more than 40 years ago as an amendment to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and provide women who face pregnancy discrimination a clear channel for recourse.

Along these lines, this week New Zealand will become one of the first few countries providing paid leave for miscarriages.[1] The Holidays (Bereavement Leave for Miscarriage) Amendment Bill (No 2) (view bill HERE) was just granted royal assent and the new law is effective March 31. The law extends current paid bereavement leave law for employees in New Zealand to miscarriages and stillbirths.


Continue Reading New Zealand Paid Bereavement Leave for Miscarriage Effective March 31, 2021

Most US multinationals conduct regular pay equity audits, but for further insights into promoting equity and removing potential bias in compensation, companies are increasingly exploring adding performance ratings audits to the standard review cycle.

Performance ratings can often have a large impact on an employee’s rate of pay and/or bonus compensation. However, for many companies, performance ratings are discretionary, given by managers without specific guidelines or training to follow and without many (or any) checks and balances. In addition, considerations regarding leveling of job descriptions, both at the time of hire and as employees matriculate, may impact performance ratings. Because the results of a pay audit are only as good as the data inputs, it makes sense to take a closer look at how the underlying data comes to be.


Continue Reading Taking Your Pay Equity Analysis To The Next Level: Performance Ratings Audits

Special thanks to guest contributors Monica Kurnatowska, Bernhard Trappehl and James Brown.

In brief

The EU Commission has proposed a directive that would reinforce the entitlement to equal pay for men and women for the same work, or work of equal value, including by giving employees the right to comparative pay information and by requiring gender pay gap reporting for employers with 250+ employees, amongst other measures. Some EU member states already have aspects of these rules, while others do not, meaning that the rules could be a significant additional compliance burden for some organisations. The rules, if adopted, would be unlikely to come into force before late 2024.

Key takeaways

The EU Commission has proposed a new directive on pay transparency. If adopted, it would:

  • Require measures to ensure employers pay the same work, or work of equal value, equally.
  • Require employers to provide initial salary (or salary range) information to job applicants, pre-interview.
  • Prohibit employers from asking job applicants about salary history.
  • Create a right for a worker to request information about:
  • Their own pay level
  • Average pay levels, broken down by gender and categories of workers doing the same work / work of equal value
  • Require gender pay gap (GPG) reporting for employers with 250+ employees.
  • Create joint pay assessments if:
  • GPG is 5%+ for any category of workers doing the same work or work of equal value, and
  • employer has not justified the GPG.

Based on previous experience, we estimate that these proposals, if adopted, would need to be implemented by sometime in late 2024.


Continue Reading European Union: Commission Proposes Pay Transparency Rules to Secure Equal Pay

As employers contemplate using compensation to incentivize employees and management toward achieving the company’s I&D goals, our global counselors and litigators share a framework for thinking through both the practical and legal considerations when designing a reward system related to I&D.

Click here to watch the video.

[T]he reason diversity and inclusion and equity of thought drives innovation and creativity is because innovation and creativity aren’t born out of sameness, they’re born out of differences; but people will not share their differences unless they experience belonging.”

Ritu Bhasin

In this video, Baker McKenzie’s Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer, Anna Brown, moderates a

Special thanks to guest contributors John Evason and Monica Kurnatowska.

The pandemic instantly proved that remote work is possible for a large swath of workers, but also brought a sharp focus on issues such as mental well-being, team engagement, productivity, data privacy and cybersecurity risks, and much more.

Simultaneously, as businesses were trying to

Special thanks to presenters Melissa Allchin, Matthew Gorman, Christopher Guldberg, Scott McMillen, Betsy Morgan, Michael Poland, Sandhya Sharma, Aimee Soodan, Brian Wydajewski.

In these recordings of our two-part webinar series, our presenters take a look back at 2020 and forecast what is likely to have the

President Biden did not waste any time after taking office on January 20, 2021. Shortly after the Presidential Oath of Office was administered, Biden signed 17 executive actions, which either impact the workplace or provide insight into what may be forthcoming under the new administration for employers.

A Flurry of Executive Orders on Day One

Biden issued a memorandum to agencies to freeze all last-minute regulations put in motion by the prior administration as President Trump was leaving office. Notably, these regulatory “freeze memos” are not uncommon for incoming administrations to issue. This pause on the prior administration’s last-minute regulations will give the Biden administration the opportunity to evaluate the so-called “midnight regulations” and determine if they will become final, be amended, or rescinded altogether.

He also issued an Executive Order reinforcing that Title VII prohibits the federal government from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The Order references the recent Supreme Court case of Bostock v. Clayton County (blogged about here). Specifically, the Order states “[i]t is the policy of my Administration to prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation, and to fully enforce Title VII and other laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.” The Order notes that laws that prohibit sex discrimination (specifically referencing Title IX, the Fair Housing Act, and section 412 of the Immigration and Nationality Act) also prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.


Continue Reading Biden and the Workplace: Early Days, Major Changes

In his first day in office, President Joe Biden signaled that his administration will take a different approach to D&I in the workplace than the previous administration. Corporate leaders should continue investing in D&I work, implementing policies that create equity and foster inclusion for underrepresented minorities, such as enforcing zero-tolerance rules for discrimination, harassment and

Companies are facing critical business challenges in regard to their most important asset – their people. While workforce transformation is not a new concept for global organizations, the pandemic has forced us to rapidly adapt our standard ways of working and how we engage with employees to ensure the long-term viability of the business. We