Businesses engaging independent contractors have new guidance from the Department of Labor (DOL) for determining whether an individual is an employee or independent contractor, but the guidance may never take effect. On January 6, 2021, the DOL issued a final rule for determining whether an individual is an employee or independent contractor. The rule focuses on whether workers are economically dependent on another business–making them more likely to be an employee of that business, and entitled to the minimum wage and overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)–or are economically dependent upon themselves, making them true independent contractors.

Continue Reading DOL Announces Final Rule for FLSA Worker Classification Focused on Economic Dependence-But Its Future is Uncertain

While most employers transitioned large segments of their workforces to remote work over the course of the past year, many also questioned how to satisfy various posting requirements when their workforce is at home. Fortunately, in late December, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued guidance on how employers can use virtual means to distribute and maintain the various posters required by federal employment laws.

Background

By way of reminder, several federal laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA), and the Service Contract Act (SCA) require employers to post a notice of rights in a conspicuous location. Typically — and pre-pandemic — employers met the notice requirements by placing posters on bulletin boards in well-trafficked locations such as break rooms or lobbies. But with the increase in remote work, many employers used company email and intranets as a workaround to notify employees of their rights. Now, employers have guidance to ensure their practices are compliant.

Continue Reading DOL Guidance on Electronic Posting of Federally-Required Notices

We are exited to invite you to our  two-part Annual Illinois Employer Update on February 2, 2021 from 1:00 – 2:15 pm CST and February 4, 2021 from 3:00 – 4:15 pm CST.

In two 75-minute virtual sessions, we will forecast what is likely to have the most significant impact on Illinois employers in 2021, provide a review of recent developments from 2020 that employers should be aware of, and offer practical tips and checklists for navigating the new normal.

Our February 2 webinar will focus on Labor & Employment developments in the following areas:

  • COVID-19 and its continued impact on the workforce, including insight on vaccinations, and permanent work from home arrangements
  • Changes to expect under a Biden Administration for labor and employment
  • Inclusion and diversity considerations for 2021, including pay equity issues, diversity training, collecting demographic data, and considerations on publishing diversity metrics
  • Recent Illinois laws you’ll want to keep top-of-mind as you head into 2021

Our February 4 webinar will cover developments in both Compensation & Benefits and Global Immigration & Mobility. Among other topics, you will hear about:

  • Pandemic-related updates, including specific pandemic-related travel updates and the impact of the pandemic on compensation and benefits
  • Key changes we expect under a Biden Administration, including an expansion of H1B visas and predicted changes to the compensation and benefits landscape
  • New post-Brexit UK immigration rules effective January 2021
  • Key developments impacting global equity plans

Click here to view the webinar invitation and register. We look forward to your participation!

We are excited to invite you to our New York Employer Update on January 21, 2021 from 12:00 – 1:00 pm ET.

2020 posed unprecedented challenges for New York employers. We know that in addition to keeping your employees safe and maintaining business continuity, it has been difficult to keep track of the rapidly changing employment law landscape in New York and beyond.

We will review the top developments that impacted New York employers in 2020 and a forecast for 2021. We will provide practical tips for navigating the new normal and checklists to keep you on track. Among other topics, you will hear about:

  • COVID-19 and its continued impact on the workforce, including insight on vaccinations and permanent work from home arrangements
  • Inclusion and diversity considerations for 2021, including pay equity issues, diversity training, collecting demographic data, considerations on publishing diversity metrics, and an in-house counsel’s view of I&D
  • What to expect under a Biden Administration, including predicted changes to the employment and labor landscape; and
  • Recent New York laws you’ll want to keep top-of-mind as you head into 2021

Click here to view the webinar invitation and register. We look forward to your participation!

We recently published an update to our 50-state Shelter-In-Place / Reopening Tracker.

Please see HERE. This is updated weekly.

For your convenience, here is a summary of the major updates from around the country:

    • The following jurisdictions extended their state-wide orders and/or the duration of the current phase of their reopening plans: Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, New York and Washington.
    • Pennsylvania’s limited stay-at-home advisories expired January 4, 2021, and the mitigation orders that were in place as of December 11, 2020 are now back in effect.
    • Governor Cuomo in New York modified the state’s quarantine period for consistency with CDC guidelines, meaning the quarantine period for incoming travelers is now 10 days, instead of 14 days.

For more information, please contact your Baker McKenzie attorney.

Four and a half years after the UK voted to leave the EU, a deal between the UK and EU was finally reached. The expiry of the transition period on December 31, 2020 marks the start of a new relationship between the UK and the EU.

We have identified the key areas that will be impacted by the Brexit Deal and outlined recommendations of what to consider for each of these areas in the Brexit Deal Checklist. 

The global nature of our Firm and the clients we represent means that we have a number of experts who can provide advice that is tailored to your organization and the challenges that you face. If you would like help navigating the complicated, evolving landscape, please contact a member of our dedicated team of specialists or your usual Baker McKenzie contact.

On December 22, a California federal judge issued a nationwide preliminary injunction blocking President Donald Trump’s Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping (“Executive Order”).  The controversial Executive Order restricted diversity training for federal contractors by prohibiting contractors from providing training covering “divisive topics.” U.S. District Court Judge Beth Labson Freeman’s preliminary injunction takes effect immediately, remains in place until further order of the court, and prohibits the federal government from implementing or enforcing key provisions of the Executive Order.

Continue Reading Trump’s Executive Order Limiting Diversity Training Put On Ice For The Holidays

We recently published an update to our 50-state Shelter-In-Place / Reopening Tracker.

Please see HERE. This is updated weekly.

For your convenience, here is a summary of the major updates from around the country:

  • The following jurisdictions extended their state-wide orders and/or the duration of the current phase of their reopening plans: New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont and Washington, D.C.
  • The following states imposed more stringent limitations on gatherings, face mask requirements, and/or reduced capacities or limited closures of certain businesses and establishments: Kentucky, Maryland and Minnesota.
  • Indoor dining was suspended in New York, while in Michigan certain entertainment venues (other than restaurants and bars) were permitted to reopen for in-person business with limited capacity.
  • Connecticut updated its travel guidance to, among other things, reduce the quarantine time from 14 days to 10 days for people arriving from any jurisdiction beyond the neighboring states of New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island.

For more information, please contact your Baker McKenzie attorney.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) closed this most recent legislative season by signing dozens of new bills into law that affect California employers. Though some were emergency bills and took effect upon signing, the remainder take effect on Jan. 1, 2021.

The laws are wide-ranging, encompassing topics from pandemic-related measures, to the first board of directors’ diversity mandate of its kind in the U.S. Below is an overview of new requirements that employers should be aware of in a several key areas—workplace safety and Covid-19, worker classification, and diversity and fair pay.

Click here to continue reading.

This article was originally published in Bloomberg Law.

We are pleased to share with you The Global Employer – Global Immigration & Mobility Quarterly Update which is a collection of immigration and mobility alerts from around the world.

Please click here to view.