We are pleased to share a recent World Economic Forum article, “Work can be better post-COVID-19. Here’s what employers need to know,” authored by Stephen Ratcliffe and Julia Wilson that discusses the following:

  • The return to the workplace
  • Hybrid working as the new norm
  • Fostering inclusion, diversity and equity (IDE)

Click here to continue reading

Our four-part Global Guided Tour webinar series is your passport to ensure that your organization is up to speed on the key labor and employment issues affecting business operations in Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East and Africa.

In each regional 60-minute webinar recording, our in-market presenters discuss the most recent political

A proposed bill in California seeks to protect workers against nondisclosure agreements and empower them to speak out about alleged acts of discrimination, including racism. Senate Bill 331, known as the Silenced No More Act, was introduced in February 2021 and seeks to expand protections against confidential settlements to cover all forms of harassment or discrimination under California law, including on the basis of race, ancestry, religion or gender identity. If passed, the law will impose greater restrictions on companies’ freedom to contract settlement and non-disparagement agreements.

New Obligations if SB 331 Passes

  1. SB 331 will expand the existing prohibition of provisions that prohibit discussing sexual harassment in the workplace to discussing any type of harassment (i.e., race, age, religious harassment). (See discussion of SB 820 below.)
  2. The law will prohibit non-disparagement agreements that prohibit the disclosure of information about unlawful acts in the workplace.
  3. The law also will create new obligations, such as the requirement to notify the employee that the employee has a right to consult an attorney regarding the agreement and giving the employee “a reasonable time period of not less than five business days” in which to do so.

Several Employer-Friendly Changes to Observe

  1. The law clarifies that including a general release or waiver of all claims in an agreement related to an employee’s separation from employment does not violate the statute.
  2. It verifies that the law does not prohibit a provision that precludes the disclosure of the amount paid in settlement of a claim.
  3. It confirms that employers may protect trade secrets, proprietary information, or confidential information that does not involve unlawful acts in the workplace.


Continue Reading #MeToo 2.0: New California Bill Proposes Greater Restrictions on Confidentiality and Non-Disparagement Agreements

Special thanks to co-author, Monica Kurnatowska.

A convergence of forces is changing the public face of the boardroom: the increasing amount of data showing how inclusion and diversity improves performance, impassioned protests for gender equality, the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement, pressure from investors and shareholders, and legislation. While gender diversity has

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

We are pleased to share a recent SHRM article, “Restructuring Your Organization Post-Pandemic? Maintain DE&I Commitments,”  with quotes from Mike Brewer. The articles discusses employers should be careful not to backtrack on progress made last year toward diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) as they prepare for a post-pandemic world, restructuring and reorganization to account for

We are pleased to share a recent Law360 article, “3 Ways To Protect Diversity If Layoffs Are Unavoidable,” with quotes from Mike Brewer. This article discusses three tips employers can use to help safeguard diversity when reductions in force cannot be avoided due to economic havoc caused by COVID-19.

Click here to view the article.

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