Webinar: Important Employment Law Reforms in Belgium – What You Need to Know as Employers

WebinarNext month we are presenting a webinar to discuss the important employment reforms that are being phased in from 1 January 2018 and which will affect all employers located in Belgium. Intended to boost job creation, the reforms are on the back of the 2017 measures giving increased flexibility in working time.

On 16 May 2018 at 3 p.m. GMT (4 p.m. BST (UK), 5 p.m. CEST, 11 a.m. EDT, 8 a.m. PDT) Nathalie Lucas, an employment lawyer in our Brussels office, will discuss the key reforms, including:

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Arizona Law Aimed at Curbing Service Dog Fraud May Be All Bark, No Bite (US)

Under federal and Arizona state law, persons with disabilities can bring service animals—all breeds of dog and miniature horses—into places of public accommodation (businesses open to the public) even if the business otherwise excludes pets. No specific training or certification program is required to qualify as a service animal, nor are such animals required to wear any particular vests, leashes, or other identifying gear. Owners are not required to carry any papers proving that their animals are service animals. In fact, business owners are limited to asking persons with disabilities if (1) the dog or miniature horse is a service animal required because of a disability, and (2) what work or task the animal has been trained to perform. Continue Reading

More success for Global Edge employment portal

Well, in the learned words of the Squires’ Labour and Employment global co-head, OMG.

Hot on the heels of its success at the Legal Business Awards earlier in the week, our international employment law portal Global Edge also triumphed last night in the Middle East Legal Awards 2018 hosted by Legal Week and the Association of Corporate Counsel in Dubai.

Fighting off competitors including Clyde & Co and Microsoft Gulf, Global Edge picked up the night’s Best Use of Technology Award to complete a terrific week for the team.

Global Edge covers the UAE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Qatar in the Middle East and 30 other countries around the world. We can also offer HR teams with responsibilities in the region our ever-popular pocket guide to Essential HR Legal Facts in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the UAE. If you have responsibility for (or even just interest in) employment law and practice in the Middle East region, please get in touch.

And if you think you ought just to take a quick look at Global Edge given these Awards, we will happily show you why it has been so successful and how it can benefit your international business. Please drop us a line at global.edge@squirepb.com and all will be revealed.

Global Edge Secures Legal Technology Team Award

Told you it was great! In a whirl of sequins and inappropriate shoes at London’s Grosvenor Hotel on Wednesday night, the Squire Patton Boggs Global Edge product secured the coveted Legal Business UK Award for Legal Technology Team of the year. The Award “recognises the law firms, in-house teams and Chambers that have pushed through innovation and secured competitive advantage for their business”, it says here.

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New York Mandates Sexual-Harassment Prevention Requirements for Private Employers (US)

This month both the State of New York and New York City have passed separate legislation designed to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. Both laws require employers to conduct mandatory sexual harassment training for all employees.

On April 10, 2018, Governor Cuomo signed the Budget Bill, which contains a mandate for employers in the State of New York designed to prevent future sexual harassment in the workplace. Employers are required to begin complying with the training requirement beginning October 7, 2018. Training must be interactive and include (1) an explanation of what constitutes sexual harassment, (2) examples of conduct that would constitute unlawful harassment, (3) information on state and federal laws concerning sexual harassment and remedies available to victims, and (4) information on employees’ rights and all available forums for adjudicating complaints administratively and judicially. Continue Reading

Welcome Katharine Liao

We are excited to welcome Katharine Liao as a partner to our Labor & Employment practice in our New York and Los Angeles offices. Her arrival plays into our firm’s continued investment in strengthening our employment capabilities, particularly in wage and hour class action litigation. Katharine will be a valuable asset on relevant issues for our international clients seeking to do business in the US. Continue Reading

US Senate Confirms John Ring as NLRB Board Member

With a 50-48 vote along party lines, on April 11, 2018, the United States Senate confirmed management-side labor lawyer John Ring as the newest member of the National Labor Relations Board.  With Member Ring’s confirmation, the NLRB is now back to full strength with five members, comprised of three Republican-nominated members and two Democrat-administration appointees.  This Republican majority is anticipated to roll back many of the NLRB decisions and policies issued by the Board during the Obama administration that were viewed as tilting the deck in favor of unions and employees.

UPDATE: On April 16, 2018, Member Ring was sworn in as Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board for a term through December 2022.  Chairman Ring replaced former Chairman Kaplan, whose position as Chairman lasted only a few months and likely will be remembered most for his decision to join Members Kaplan and McFerran to vacate the NLRB’s decision in Hy-Brand, which unwound the NLRB’s earlier controversial decision on joint employer issues in Browning-Ferris Industries, based on a purported conflict of interest involving Member Emanuel, who participated in the Hy-Brand decision.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Finds Use of Salary History To “Justify” Unequal Pay Rates Violates Federal Pay Discrimination Law (US)

On April 9, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an en banc ruling in Aileen Rizo v. Jim Yovino, case number 16-15372, holding that employers cannot justify a wage differential between men and women by relying on the employees’ respective wage histories alone. The plaintiff, a female consultant, learned that her employer, Fresno County, California, hired male colleagues at a significantly higher rate of pay for similar work. The County admitted that plaintiff’s male colleagues earned more than she did, but argued the wage differential was a result of their higher prior salaries at the time they were hired. Continue Reading

Bumping along the road to a fair redundancy (UK)

Let’s get our terms straight to start with. Redundancy selection is where you have more than one person (say, A and B) carrying out a role for which the employer’s need has diminished, and then choosing which of them to let go. Bumping is where you have chosen the employee who is notionally redundant but then makes to preserve his employment by bumping out (dismissing) someone else entirely, the surprised and blameless C.

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