As a result of the pandemic, many companies have been forced to consider layoffs and furloughs. In this video, our Labor and Employment attorneys discuss how employers should approach such cost-cutting measures to ensure they are not discriminatory and to avoid allegations of differential treatment.

Click here to watch the video.

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

Special thanks to guest contributors Ginger Partee and Matthew Gorman.

As the country awaits confirmation of Judge Merrick Garland, President Joe Biden’s pick for attorney general to head the U.S. Department of Justice, employers in the U.S. should begin to consider what a Biden administration DOJ might mean for their workplace.

Biden has appointed

With special thanks to Bradford Newman for this post. 

Ten U.S. senators sent a joint letter to Janet Dhillon, the chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, on Dec. 8, 2020, urging the EEOC to use its powers under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to “investigate and/or enforce against discrimination related

The US Supreme Court significantly altered federal anti-discrimination law in its landmark June ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County. This week’s video chat provides practical advice for employers following Bostock’s extension of anti-discrimination protections to LGBTQ employees and its interaction with employees’ religious beliefs.

Please click below to watch the video chat:

Religious Beliefs

On June 15, 2020, the US Supreme Court changed the face of federal workplace anti-discrimination laws. In Bostock v. Clayton County, the Court ruled that Title VII’s prohibition against job discrimination on the basis of “sex” includes sexual orientation and gender identity. Though Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 has long-prohibited employers from discriminating on the basis of color, national origin, race, religion, and sex, the question of whether sexual orientation and gender identity were included in the definition of “sex” went unsettled — until now.

“An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote for the court in the 6-3 opinion. “Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids.” Justice Gorsuch and fellow conservative Chief Justice John Roberts joined liberal Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Kagan, and Sotomayor in the majority.


Continue Reading Support for LGBTQ Rights, with a Signal for Religious Liberty: What Does Bostock Actually Mean for Employers?

In the wake of the economic downturn resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, government investigations into perceived preferential treatment of foreign workers by U.S. employers is expected.

At-risk companies include those in industries that typically employ a higher number of foreign workers under H-1B, H-2A and H-2B visas, from technology and consulting to hospitality and food

Last week, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a comprehensive breakdown of the workplace discrimination charges received in 2019. The report shows that fiscal year 2019 continued the trend of declining numbers of pending charges. Interestingly, the number of charges filed in 2019 is the lowest intake in any fiscal year since at least 1997. While there may be any number of explanations for the decrease, one possibility is that employees are turning to expanding state anti-discrimination laws and more active state administrative agencies rather than the EEOC.

Continue Reading While EEOC Report Shows Overall Decrease In Charges, Retaliation Continues To Be Top Charge

2019 kept US employers on their toes. From intensifying scrutiny of independent contractor relationships, data privacy changes, and hostility to arbitration agreements to continued pressure to examine pay data, increasing employee activism and politically charged discourse in the workplace, it has been a busy year!

Click here to continue reading the US Employment Law Digest.

Since January 1, 2018, California law has prohibited employers from asking applicants about their salary history. Earlier this month, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 2282 into law to clarify several aspects of the salary history ban.

Continue Reading California Clarifies Its Salary History Ban, Making It Easier For Employers To Comply