US Supreme Court Thwarts NLRB’s Attempt to Ease Its Burden to Obtain Injunctive Relief; Levels Playing Field for Employers (US)

Unless you have been stranded on a deserted island over the past few years, you’ve likely heard that Starbucks has been fighting a protracted battle over unionization of its employees. In addition to dealing with the union seeking to represent its employees, Starbucks also has had to contend with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) which has, acting through its aggressive and openly pro-union General Counsel (GC), filed dozens of unfair labor practice complaints against Starbucks, alleging that Starbucks engaged in a wide range of purportedly unlawful conduct when responding to union organizing.

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Labour’s employment manifesto – the road paved with good intentions? (UK)

Manifesto Paper

There is, as you will have noticed, an election looming in the UK and in amongst the wrangling over lies about tax, missing D-Day commemorations and the fiercely contested issue of which leader has the least charisma, there are some potentially very significant changes in the offing when it comes to employment law.

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) Employment Discrimination Laws Proposed in Six States: What Employers Need to Know (US)

We recently wrote about Colorado’s historic law aimed at protecting, among others, employees and employment applicants from harm arising out of the use of artificial intelligence (AI) systems. Although Colorado is the first state to pass legislation addressing AI-based discrimination, similar bills have been proposed in at least six other states as well as at the federal level, with a recent Executive Order discussing a wide range of issues arising from the private-sector use of AI systems, including discrimination in the employment context. All US employers should take note of this trend and prepare for the possibility of new compliance obligations resulting from employer use of AI systems.

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US State Law Roundup – 2024 Mid-year Update

State and local legislatures have been active throughout the first half of 2024 passing laws and ordinances that will impact employers of all sizes and all industries.

Click HERE for our summary of these laws and related developments in Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Washington and elsewhere!

As always, our team will continue to monitor these and other state employment law developments. If you have questions or need guidance, please contact your SPB lawyer. Have an enjoyable summer!

Could Artificial Intelligence Create Real Liability for Employers? Colorado Just Passed the First U.S. Law Addressing Algorithmic Discrimination in Private Sector Use of AI Systems (US)

On May 17, 2024, Colorado became the first U.S. state to pass a law aimed at protecting consumers from harm arising out of the use of artificial intelligence (“AI”) systems. Senate Bill 24-205, or the “CAIA,” is designed to regulate the private-sector use of AI systems and will impose obligations on Colorado employers, including affirmative reporting requirements. The CAIA, which will take effect on February 1, 2026, applies to Colorado businesses that use AI systems to make, or that are used as a substantial factor in making, employment decisions.

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Former employees’ rights of access in Belgian HR matters: when jottings may come back to haunt you

In a decision of 8 April , the Belgian Data Protection Authority has reminded employers of the reach of the GDPR principle of right of access by the data subject.

An employee of a school who had left more than 5 years earlier asked for access to his full personnel file and to “every document mentioning his name”. He also requested to know about the source of any information which had not been collected from him directly, particularly if this information had been shared with other schools. The school refused to give access, claiming that the right to access does not extend to “all documents mentioning the data subject’s name”. The employee insisted, referring to certain “negative experiences” which he believed had been shared with other schools and used to his detriment as part of their selection and recruitment processes, but the school could not be convinced. 

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Is your use of AI in the workplace compliant and guided by policies? (Germany)

The recent decision of the Hamburg Labour Court concerning a German works council’s attempt to enforce a ban on the use of AI in a workplace makes it clear once again that employers cannot simply let the use of AI run its course unchecked.

Employers are well advised to take a moment check their current IT landscape given that implementation of the AI Act is now on the horizon: The EU Parliament voted on the Act on 13 March. Now a final lawyer-linguist check takes place and the text is then expected to be finally adopted before the end of the legislature. The law also needs to be formally endorsed by the Council. The Act will enter into force 20 days after publication in the Official Journal. While its rules will apply in stages (within 6 months – so by December this year – systems bearing unacceptable risks will have to be shut down), after two years all of it will be in force.

The idea behind the Act is to regulate the use and development of artificial intelligence on a risk-based approach. This means that the Act will apply to “providers”, “deployers”, “importers”, “distributors” and “authorised representatives”, essentially entailing not only software developers, but also users (hence employers and employees), and those involved in the distribution chain.  Companies worldwide are going to be affected if they offer or operate AI systems or whose AI-generated output is used within the EU, including in relation to any employees there.

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Dismissal for religious beliefs plays well in theatre drama – but as reason or context? (UK)

Theatre Curtains

What with God, theatre and lesbians, the recent EAT decision in Omooba – v – Michael Garrett Associates and Another might truly be said to be the case that has it all.  Sadly the legal points underneath the facts are rather more prosaic, but this ruling is nonetheless worth noting for their possible practical application in cases with fewer potential tabloid headlines.

A brief look at the background.  Ms Omooba is an actor who in 2019 contracted with her agency MGA and the Curve Theatre in Leicester to perform a leading role as Celie in a stage production of The Color (Sic) Purple.  Celie is described in the ET’s judgement as an “iconic lesbian role”, a small matter which Omooba had somehow overlooked in any review of the script she had carried out before applying and agreeing to play it. 

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Labour and Employment Technology Week – Global Labour and Employment Resource Hub

One Central Place To Access the Latest Labour and Employment Technology and Insights

Last year, we launched our new Global Labour and Employment Resource Hub, and we have continually updated it with new content. Since our launch, we have added new features, such as:

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Labour and Employment Technology Week: Spotlight on Global Edge Lite

Do you need to understand the essential provisions of global employment laws?

Introducing Global Edge Lite (GE Lite), the compact version of our award-winning subscription-based tool, Global Edge.

Covering up to 30 key jurisdictions, GE Lite is entirely free-to-use and allows you to access commercial and pragmatic information on some of the issues we most commonly receive questions about from clients, which can be compared across regions at the click of a button.

Covering topics such as diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), agency workers, business transfers, electronic signatures, holidays, interns, notices of termination, probationary periods, redundancies, restrictive covenants and working time, GE Lite is an essential resource for anyone managing workforces across multiple jurisdictions.

Simply:

  • Choose from a number of key topics.
  • Select your countries and the questions you want answered.
  • GE Lite will then create an at-a-glance chart for you, with the level of detail of your choice.

Access GE Lite and create free-of-charge at-a-glance charts. Just one of the many ways we at Squire Patton Boggs help our clients to stay ahead.

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