Managing the Modern Workplace
V&E International Labor & Employment Resources

  • 23
  • February
  • 2017

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Everything Crazy Can Be Sane Again

We can hope that new appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) and its General Counsel will eventually return some sanity to American labor law. Until such time, we can only hope that the federal courts of appeals will continue to scrutinize the NLRB’s decisions. 

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  • 21
  • February
  • 2017

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Avoiding Non-Compliance with the ADA for Emergency Response Personnel

An employee is not protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) if he is unable to perform the essential functions of the employment position he holds. But what makes a particular job function “essential,” and can a job function be “essential” even if it is rarely performed? Last month, the Eleventh Circuit joined the Sixth and Eighth Circuits in holding that a job function that is rarely performed may still be considered “essential.” In Bagwell v. Morgan County Commission,1 the Court found that, although certain maintenance tasks were rarely required, a park groundskeeper was not qualified to do the job in part because she could not safely perform such tasks.

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  • 14
  • February
  • 2017

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Doing the Homework May Avoid Complications in International Business

Just how complicated it is to conduct international business was made clear to me during a recent trip to Japan. Japan is suffering from a shortage of employees and is looking more to immigrants to supply the needed workforce. Foreign workers are likely to find the workplace culture in Japan to be quite different from their own; also, there is unease among many Japanese businesses and the Japanese government about trade restrictions with the United States and relations generally with China. All these open issues make operating a business in Japan a complicated matter.

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  • 08
  • February
  • 2017

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Work Hours — How Much is Enough?

I just returned from Japan, where one of the major labor issues is “karoshi,” which means “death by overwork.” The Japanese Labor Department has made findings against companies whose workers either died from health issues or from suicide due to overwork. Apparently, some companies in Japan require employees to work as much as 100 hours of overtime in a month in addition to the normal 40-hour work weeks.

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How Should Employers Respond to Trump’s Immigration Executive Order?

Any seasoned human resources manager who works for a company that employs some foreign workers already knows that American immigration law is complex and unpredictable. An employer can file two seemingly identical L-1 applications with the same USCIS service center and only get one approved, suggesting that an application’s success can depend on the adjudicator to whom a file was assigned. And we all know how unpredictable the H-1B application process can be: it truly is a lottery. Further, even when an employer application has been approved and the employee has successfully obtained a visa at a U.S. consulate in his home country, the Customs Border Patrol (CBP) agent may still exercise his “discretion” to refuse admission to the employee when she arrives at a U.S. airport.

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Contributors

Thomas H. Wilson

Thomas H. Wilson Partner

Christopher V. Bacon

Christopher V. Bacon Counsel

Sean Becker

Sean Becker Partner

Stephen M. Jacobson

Stephen M. Jacobson Partner

Martin C. Luff

Martin Luff Counsel

Lawrence S. Elbaum Counsel

S. Grace Ho

S. Grace Ho Senior Associate

Jacob D. Ecker

Jacob D. Ecker Associate