Archives: Employment Relations

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NLRB Releases Slew of Advice Memoranda Providing Interpretative Guidance On Labor Issues (US)

During the first month and a half of 2018, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) released a torrent of memoranda authored by its Division of Advice (“Advice”), a section of the NLRB’s Office of the General Counsel.  As you may have read on our blog before, Advice memoranda are issued by the NLRB’s … Continue Reading

Recent redundancy exercises – learning points for HR, part 6

Protecting your enhanced severance scheme Some employers pay only the statutory minimum entitlement on a redundancy dismissal, but others recognise that redundancy is a no-fault reason for termination and try to do something to sweeten an otherwise bitter pill.  Maybe this is no more than paying in lieu of notice without deduction of tax (for … Continue Reading

The German “Arbeitszeugnis” (reference): a sometimes dangerous mystery for non-German employers

Germany is considered a leading industrial nation in many areas of business and technology but when it comes to law and formal requirements it is still rather traditional. For entrepreneurs doing business in Germany for the first time this may come as a surprise. German legal practice still widely depends on original handwritten signatures and … Continue Reading

Did You Know?

Last month the Australian Fair Work Commission made its first formal bullying finding since the introduction of new anti-bullying laws at the start of 2014. The Commission found that two employees of a small real estate business subjected to repeated unreasonable behaviour by a property manager had been bullied at work within the meaning of … Continue Reading

UK Trade Union Bill – political or practical?

As MPs debate the Trade Union Bill (see our initial summary, the issue for employers is whether the Bill is political or practical and whether the tightening of the rules on picketing will actually backfire, resulting in unions using more unorthodox methods to achieve their objectives. The Bill has come in for a lot … Continue Reading

Informal not casual in new Acas guidance on responding to discrimination complaints in the UK

New Acas guidance on handling discrimination allegations in the workplace has been issued this week  This is particularly interesting because of the degree of prominence which it gives to informal resolutions of discrimination complaints in place of the often process-driven guidance which Acas has issued in the past. Seeking an informal resolution of a … Continue Reading

Managing Directors and certain board members in Spain may need to revisit their contracts

Reforms of the Spanish Companies Act (‘Ley de Sociedades de Capital’) which came into force at the end of 2014 introduced new regulations challenging the historical professional relationships of members of Boards of Directors.  Now that we are in the middle of the Annual General Meeting season in Spain, perhaps it is time for a … Continue Reading

UK High Court gives useful recap on liability for stress-induced psychiatric illness in the workplace (Part 3)

In the first two parts of this series (part 1, part 2) we looked at how the Courts still regard the 2002 judgment in Hatton –v- Sutherland as the definitive statement on the law for liability for stress-induced psychiatric injury in the workplace.  However, although still commanding respect in relation to breach of duty and … Continue Reading

UK High Court gives useful recap on liability for stress-induced psychiatric illness in the workplace (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this piece we considered the requirement of foreseeability as a condition of establishing an employer’s liability for stress-related psychiatric harm.  Here we look at the other main ingredient, a breach of duty by the employer. It is not enough that an employee’s illness is as a matter of medical fact … Continue Reading

UK High Court gives useful recap on liability for stress-induced psychiatric illness in the workplace (Part 1)

Every so often, there comes along a case which becomes the new baseline by which decisions in a particular field are made.  In relation to employer liability for psychiatric illness caused by workplace stress, that case is Hatton -v- Sutherland in 2002, still going strong after 13 years and most recently upheld by the High … Continue Reading

UK employers broadly unmoved by advent of Shared Parental Leave

Last month the Squire Patton Boggs Labour & Employment team issued a survey to over 3,000 UK clients and contacts of different sizes and industry sectors in relation to the arrival of the SPL Regulations next month.  By way of context, the Regulations have been widely criticised among employers and legal commentators as grossly over-engineered … Continue Reading

Increased information obligations to employees in French company takeovers threaten transaction confidentiality

France has recently introduced new rules obliging smaller companies to provide increased information to their employees regarding prospective takeovers and ownership changes and also regarding opportunities for the staff to make acquisition offers themselves. The laws are a part of the Lois sur l’économie sociale et solidaire,a scheme of reforms designed to strengthen economic social … Continue Reading

Not unreasonable, not perfect – UK Court of Appeal guidance on disciplinary process

Some generally reassuring guidance for employers from the Court of Appeal this month concerning the level of certainty required to legitimise the starting of formal disciplinary proceedings.   Dr Mian worked at Coventry University when accused of complicity in the provision of falsely favourable references for a former colleague.  A preliminary investigation was carried out by … Continue Reading

US Labor Board Blesses Picket Line Crotch Grabbing

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) ruled that Illinois Consolidated Telephone Co. violated the National Labor Relations Act when it suspended striking switchman Eric Walters for making an obscene gesture.  Specifically, Walters grabbed his crotch in a sexual gesture aimed at an employee crossing the picket line.  While the Labor Board did find credible evidence … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Holds That Closely Held For-Profit Corporations Can Avoid ACA Contraception Mandate

The Supreme Court has issued a 5-4 decision in which it found that closely-held for-profit corporations can avoid the mandate under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that requires the provision of birth control coverage to their employees.  In reaching their decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Burwell, the justices determined … Continue Reading

New UK Flexible Working regime – the word on the street

Depending on what you read and who you believe, today’s opening-up of eligibility to request flexible working to all employees with six months’ service or more will be:    (i)         the unleashing of an unstoppable tide of cost, inconvenience and Tribunal claims; or   (ii)        no big deal.   Perhaps by the time you read this, there will … Continue Reading

NLRB Gives the OK for US College Athletes to Unionize

In January, Northwestern University football players petitioned the NLRB to be recognized as a union.  (Previously published here).  Yesterday, to the surprise of many, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) granted the unprecedented request, finding that grant-in-aid scholarship football players are “employees” within the meaning of the federal law and are therefore eligible to unionize. … Continue Reading

UK Employment Tribunals share your pain. No, really

Obviously when you hold a high judicial office in the UK you have to be very measured in the reports you can make about your function – no ranting tweets here about your boss/service-users/colleagues/coffee, thank you, or that’s your gong firmly down the drain.   Which makes all the more laudable the very clear disgruntlement discernible … Continue Reading