It is almost the end of the calendar year and time for multinational companies to consider the
Employees are the backbone of any supply chain operator. As such, upholding fundamental labor standards and protecting worker rights is a complex undertaking. Further, COVID-19 has introduced additional complexities regarding employee safety and remote work. The following are some considerations to help employers navigate the global framework of ever-evolving laws that touch the supply chain.
One of the major priorities for an employer in the supply chain industry is to avoid and prevent forced labor. Globally, millions are thought to be in trapped in forced labor. Many of these victims are linked to the supply chains of the international businesses supplying our goods and services. According to the Walk Free Foundation’s Global Slavery Index, published with input from the United Nations’ International Labor Organization and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), as of 2016, about 40.3 million men, women and children were trapped in modern slavery, including 24.9 million people who were victims of forced labor in global supply chains. Slavery can exist in all stages of the supply chain, from the picking of raw materials such as cocoa or cotton, to manufacturing goods such as mobile phones or garments, and at later stages of shipping and delivery to consumers.
To combat this human rights issue, several governments, on the global and U.S. federal and state levels, have passed laws to prevent human trafficking and require companies to ensure that they are not using forced labor:
- In the United States, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act makes human trafficking a federal crime, allows victims to sue traffickers; expands the Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act’s list of crimes to include human trafficking, provides deportation protections for victims and their families, requires annual reports to Congress on efforts to prevent human trafficking, requires the government to notify all applicants for work and education visas about workers’ rights in the US and screen all unaccompanied immigrant children. Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930 prohibits the importation of goods mined, produced or manufactured, wholly or in part, in any foreign country by forced labor, including convict labor, forced child labor and indentured labor. Regulations promulgated by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) allow for issuing withhold release orders, requiring detention of goods at ports of entry when CBP agents reasonably believe that an importer is attempting to enter goods made with forced labor.
- Further, California enacted the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010, under which companies with over $100 million in gross sales who do business in California must disclose on their websites any efforts taken to eradicate human trafficking from their supply chains.
To review the new and expanded version of the Coronavirus Quick Guide for Employers click here.
This guide covers 19 jurisdictions across Europe, Middle East and Africa and covers the latest country updates from the last couple of days, including employer obligations following school closures around the region.
In 2020, trade tensions, uncertainties over Brexit, significant changes in the political landscape and unexpected global events, such as the Coronavirus outbreak, continue to present challenges for the global employer. Meanwhile, the relentless advance of technology is accelerating workplace transformation, creating an opportunity for employee growth and diversification across industries.
To help navigate the global…
Join us in our new Palo Alto office for a breakfast briefing on October 30 as we explore the top 5 trends impacting multinational employers in EMEA.
Hear from leading practitioners in 5 key EMEA jurisdictions – France, Germany, South Africa, Spain and the United Kingdom – as we address these key developments:
On May 14, the European Court of Justice ruled that Member States are required to impose an obligation on employers to establish an objective, reliable and accessible system that keeps a daily record of the hours worked. However, Member States have some discretion as to the system that is used to record working time, which…
Today is Equal Pay Day in the US. It marks the date women need to work into 2019 to earn what men were paid in the previous year. (And, in fact, this particular date does not take into account that women of color are often paid less than white women.)
Collecting, sharing, maintaining (and possibly publishing) diversity data (of any type but including gender pay) remains a significant undertaking for employers. And the complexity compounds for multinationals.
The global trend towards requiring transparency is not slowing. Just recently, France, Spain and soon Ireland have jumped aboard.
Listen in! We just released three new episodes of The Employer Report podcast series. Each 15-20 minute episode offers on-the-go learning opportunities to navigate the latest developments impacting multinational employers.
- 2019 Employment Law Changes in China, Australia and Singapore
- 2019 Employment Law Changes in France, Germany and the UK
- 2019 Employment Law Changes in Mexico
With thanks to our colleagues Lois Rodriquez (Baker McKenzie Madrid) and Nadège Dallais (Baker McKenzie Paris):
US companies expanding in Europe for the first time are often surprised to learn of the significant employee protections afforded to European employees (e.g. for example, employment at-will, for the most part, does not translate outside the US). An emerging “right to disconnect” is a new trend US multinationals should watch out for.
Spanish lawmakers recently passed a new act recognizing for the first time ever an employee’s right to digital disconnection. Under this new regulation, all companies with employees in Spain (regardless of headcount) must establish detailed internal policies regulating the right to disconnect after work hours. These policies must apply to all employees, even management and home-based workers.
Two recent events in the US vividly illustrate the growing centrality of gender pay equity issues. On one side of the ledger, in early April 2018, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in Rizo v. Fresno County Office of Education, held that an employee’s prior salary—either alone or in a combination…