International Labor and Employment Law

Per our previous post, the European Parliament and the Member States agreed to adopt new rules that would set the standard for protecting whistleblowers across the EU from dismissal, demotion, and other forms of retaliation when they report breaches of various areas of EU law. According to a press release issued by the European Parliament on April 16, 2019, the Parliament approved these changes by an overwhelming majority. The new rules require that employers…
At a time when much of the world is accepting LGBTQ individuals and relationships, the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction in the small nation of Brunei.  Earlier this month, Brunei put into force a new set of harsh criminal provisions mandating extreme physical punishment for certain acts forbidden by Islamic law, most notably that any individual found guilty of a homosexual act will now be punished with death by stoning. The new criminal…
Major changes to Singapore’s Employment Act (“EA”) took effect on April 1, 2019. First, the EA was expanded to include more employees and offer greater protections. Before April 1, the EA’s core provisions excluded managers and executives earning more than S$4,500, and its Part IV provisions, which provide additional protection to select groups of workmen (i.e. manual laborers) and non-workmen (i.e. general white-collar employees, such as receptionists), excluded non-workmen earning more than S$2,500. Now, the…
On January 30, 2018, Shawn Wang (“Plaintiff”), filed suit against GM (China) Investment Co., Ltd. (“GMCIC”) and General Motors (GM) alleging, among other things, age discrimination in violation of the Age Discrimination and Employment Act (“ADEA”) and race and national origin discrimination under Title VII. Plaintiff, a naturalized U.S. citizen, was a GMCIC employee in Shanghai, China until he was terminated. GM filed a motion to dismiss arguing that it was required to terminate Plaintiff…
Earlier this year, the UK Court of Appeal held that a class of 30,000 female Asda retail employees could compare themselves to male employees working in Asda’s distribution warehouses for purposes of their equal pay lawsuit. The Court’s analysis and decision has broad implications for gender pay litigation in the UK. Background The Court of Appeal’s decision is only the latest development in this long-running litigation. In fact, although this case has been pending since…
According to a press release issued by the European Commission today, the European Parliament and the Member States have agreed to adopt new rules that set the standard for protecting individuals who blow the whistle on breaches of EU law from dismissal, demotion, and other forms of retaliation. This reform, which was first proposed by the European Commission in April 2018, seeks to replace the patchwork of whistleblower protections that currently exist across the Member…
On January 15, 2019, we posted an article about the effect of the #MeToo era on China’s efforts to draft its first Civil Code enshrining the country’s civil laws (https://www.internationallaborlaw.com/2019/01/15/china-responds-to-metoo-employers-stay-alert/). While China is not expected to adopt the Code until at least 2020, the Chinese government is beginning to take steps now to address gender discrimination in the workplace. On Thursday, February 21, the Chinese government posted a notice on the website of…
The New Year has brought an increase in minimum wages across the majority of European Union member countries. While most of these changes have been minimal, France and Spain, in particular, announced considerable increases to their respective minimum wages at the end of 2018. From the beginning of his tenure in May 2017, French President Emmanuel Macron has passed numerous reforms aimed at stimulating economic growth within the country. Many of these reforms have met…
In most jurisdictions, there is a binary distinction between “independent contractors” and “employees,” with employment rights only afforded to “employees.” In the UK, there is a third class—“worker” —who benefit from certain employment rights, including paid time off and a minimum wage. The case of Addison Lee Ltd. v. Lange and Others provides important guidelines on the distinction between “workers” and “independent contractors” which are of critical importance for businesses that engage atypical workers. Importantly,…
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…