International Labor and Employment Law

As we move into 2019, it is worth checking in on the “right to disconnect,” a French employment right that now has been adopted or proposed in multiple other countries. Basis of the Right We live in a hyper-connected world, and more and more companies now provide laptops and cell phones with the expectation that employees will be reachable at all hours. While some employees appreciate the increased flexibility that comes with these developments, the…
As of January 1, 2019, intersex Germans, meaning Germans with sex characteristics not fitting neatly within the standard understanding of males and females, will be able to register their gender as “divers,” which translates to “miscellaneous.” This new gender classification will be included on such documents as birth certificates, passports, and driver’s licenses. Since 2013, Germany has permitted parents of babies born without a clear gender to leave the baby’s gender status blank so that…
China has begun work on the first draft of its Civil Code, a legislative measure aimed at reconciling and organizing the country’s extensive civil laws. The Chinese Civil Code (“Code”) is expected to be fully drafted and adopted in 2020. Although the Code has been under development for some time, it now finds itself in the #MeToo era. China has felt the shockwaves of the movement as prominent intellectuals, activists, and officials have now been…
On December 27, 2018 the Korean National Assembly addressed workplace bullying and harassment in partial amendments to the Labor Standards Act (the “LSA”) and the Industrial Accident Compensation Insurance Act. LSA, Article 6-2, “Prohibition of Workplace Harassment” This amendment to the LSA serves two main purposes: (1) creating new employer obligations; and (2) providing a definition of “workplace harassment,” a term previously left undefined under the law. New employer obligations resemble those under the Equal…
Hungary is in the midst of an emigration crisis that has seen roughly five percent of the country’s working-age population immigrate to other European Union countries in recent years. This mass migration has triggered a labor shortage in the country. In response to the growing labor crisis, the Hungarian Parliament passed amendments to the country’s labor code. These amendments raise the yearly cap on overtime from 250 to 400 hours per year and permit companies…
As we have previously reported, New York has significantly heightened employers’ responsibilities with regard to the implementation of anti-sexual harassment policies and training in the workplace. Some of the most notable changes New York employers have adjusted to include the adoption of written policies that explain the complaint and investigation procedure and all possible avenues of redress, a new onus on managers and supervisors to report all complaints of sexual harassment they receive and…
On December 4, 2018, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) issued an important decision on age discrimination in relation to the age requirements for new recruits to the Irish police force. Facts This case relates to the applications made by three Irish citizens to join the Irish national police. Their applications were refused because of their age, and in particular Ireland’s blanket requirement that all police force applicants be aged between 18 and 35. The…
From low productivity to the death of citizens by overwork, Japan’s labor practices have long maintained a complicated relationship with the country’s workforce. The problem of death by overwork is so prevalent the Japanese have created a word for it: karoshi. On June 29, 2018, Japan passed the “Work Style Reform Law” (the Law) to address some of these issues. Currently, Japanese law permits employers to enter into special agreements with employees that require them…
With the holiday party season just around the corner, tragic events in the United Kingdom present a worst-case scenario for reveling workers and for employers who may find themselves held responsible. Bellman v. Northhampton Recruitment Ltd. extends the bounds of employer vicarious liability where an employee is injured at a company-related social event. But, the extraordinary facts at play and the Court’s hedging opinion suggest that the decision’s implications may be limited. Facts In December…
This past year, multiple countries enacted new laws aimed at reducing gender pay disparity. Although it has long been illegal in many countries to pay women less than men, a noticeable gender pay gap has persisted. The laws described below demonstrate that countries are now attempting bolder and more innovative strategies toward reaching true pay equality. We’ve previously written on the UK’s new regulations that require companies to publicly report their gender pay gap. Under…