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

  • 10
  • November
  • 2016

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Serving Our Veterans

Taking some time this week to acknowledge and thank those employees who are serving or have served in the armed forces is a great way to generate good will in the workplace. It may also be a good time to make sure that your company is complying with the law when it comes to its treatment of its reservists and veterans.

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  • 10
  • November
  • 2016

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The Simple Truth Might Set You Free

One of the most difficult tasks that a Human Resources Manager or a supervisor will ever have to do is terminate an employee. Because of how difficult it can be, there is often a temptation not to address the real reason for the termination and claim that the position is simply being eliminated. Such a statement could set a company up for a lawsuit. To avoid this risk, Chris Bacon identifies three steps employers should take in any termination meeting.

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The Next Big One: FCPA and Immigration

Immigration is certainly getting a lot of attention these days in the United States, but companies that assign workers around the world know that the United States is not the only country with complex immigration laws and procedures. The crazy quilt of visas and work permits required and the sometimes maddening bureaucracy that goes with the process is enough to frustrate even the most patient among us. While sometimes tempting, the issue is what happens if that frustration leads to payments being made to government officials to accelerate the process. Companies should not assume that small payments to immigration officials could be OK under the FCPA’s so-called facilitation payments exception. The government, however, has in recent years repeatedly rejected such arguments in the customs context.

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Uncomfortable Questions: HR, Anti-Bribery Compliance, and International Hires and Promotions

One of your top managers is pushing to hire or promote a particular candidate for a position in a country in Africa. He tells you, “This guy is really great. He knows how to do business in this country and has lots of connections. He will be a real asset for our business there. We need to get him on board before someone else hires him.” If you have been a human resources manager or employment lawyer for a company with international operations for any length of time, you may have heard such pleas before. You probably also know that these types of hiring decisions can get companies into a whole lot of trouble.

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  • 01
  • November
  • 2016

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Even Gym Memberships Are Not Safe: Why Your HR Manager Needs to Know Something About Antitrust Law

HR professionals take note: U.S. antitrust enforcers are watching. On October 20, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) jointly issued guidance alerting HR professionals and others involved in hiring and compensation decisions about the risks of antitrust violations associated with their work. In the enforcement cross-hairs are agreements – formal or informal, written or un-written, explicit or implicit – between competing employers to limit or fix the terms of employment; to set wages, benefits and other compensation; or to refrain from soliciting or recruiting one another’s employees (so-called “no-poaching” agreements).

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  • 27
  • October
  • 2016

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Living in the "Material" World of the EEOC’s New Retaliation Guidance

Most employers know that major employment actions — terminations, suspensions, demotions ­— need to be reviewed to determine if those actions may result in accusations of retaliation. Unfortunately, “retaliation” has fuzzily expanded to encompass much lesser employment decisions, forcing employers to review more minor employment actions for signs of retaliatory motive. This call for extra carefulness is reflected in the EEOC’s Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues (“Guidance”), which discusses what actions by an employer will be considered sufficiently “materially adverse” to support a retaliation claim. In Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. White, the Supreme Court made it clear that a “materially adverse action” would not be limited to demotions, suspensions, and terminations. In its new Guidance, the EEOC explains the term materially adverse “expansively covers any employer action that ‘might well deter a reasonable employee from complaining about discrimination.’” The Guidance goes on to provide examples of what could be “materially adverse,” such as threatening to reassign an employee, targeting an employee by assigning extra amounts of work, or overly scrutinizing their work product or attendance.

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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 Partner