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

  • 06
  • October
  • 2016

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Two Important Safety Issues that Concern the Fracking Industry

Yesterday, I spoke at Vinson & Elkins’ Sixth Annual Hydraulic Fracturing Symposium on two safety issues that I discussed in recent blogs that should be of special concern the fracking industry. First I explained how the new silica standard is likely to require costly engineering changes in the hydraulic fracturing industry. I then talked about OSHA’s recent criticisms of post-accident drug programs which could effectively limit companies’ efforts to combat the drug abuse epidemic seen in many fracking “man camps.”

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The EEOC Appears to Embrace the NLRB's Expanding "Joint Employer" Definition

When talking to companies about compliance with federal and state employment laws, employment lawyers sometimes hear "Oh, those are contractors; we don’t need to worry about them" or "those are the staffing agency’s employees, they are not our employees." Whether it’s identifying potential liabilities in a transaction, determining what records a company needs to keep about its workforce, dealing with union activity, or anything in between, employment lawyers have learned that contractors and staffing agency employees should not be summarily ignored. Government agencies that enforce employment laws have increasingly held companies responsible for employment-related obligations with respect to people who are not considered employees by most companies.

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A New "Visa" for Foreign Entrepreneurs Working for Start-Ups

One of the biggest challenges for U.S. immigration lawyers has been securing visas for skilled foreign entrepreneurs to work for start-ups. Because some U.S. investors have conditioned their investments in some start-ups on the company’s ability to employ certain foreign talent, the lack of any viable visa for certain entrepreneurs can doom some projects. Often, the H-1B visa has been the only option for these entrepreneurs, but “winning” the H-1B lottery has become increasingly difficult and requires considerable advance planning. The L-1 visa is usually of little help for most start-ups, and the E-2 visa is dependent on a specific treaty between the foreign entrepreneur’s country and the U.S., and further requires that nationals from the treaty company own at least 50% of the startup, which eliminates any start-up where U.S. investors are the majority.

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  • 28
  • September
  • 2016

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Those Old Severance Agreements May Come Back to Haunt You

Whenever I draft a severance agreement for a client, I always caution them that "one size does not fit all." A severance agreement intended for a 25-year-old receptionist in Texas who is always late to work is unlikely to be appropriate for a 65-year-old engineer in California being terminated as part of a larger reduction-in-force. Most seasoned human resource managers understand this. However, even when the circumstances of a termination are virtually identical (same jurisdiction, rationale, circumstances, and demographics), employers should not assume that they only need to change out the names from an agreement their labor counsel prepared a few months ago.

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  • 22
  • September
  • 2016

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Trust Me, I am from the United States

In his keynote speech at the International Bar Association meetings in D.C., the U.S. Trade Ambassador, Robert Holleyman, made a passionate defense of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement (TPP) as a mechanism that will build trust between the U.S. and the other 11 countries in the TPP. While it is not clear that the TPP will ever obtain the required congressional support, the success of American companies doing business abroad will depend on those companies building trust with their employees in those countries.

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  • 21
  • September
  • 2016

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The Challenge of Implementing a "Global Diversity" Initiative in "Diversity-Unfriendly" Countries

Some 6,000 lawyers from around the world are attending the International Bar Association meetings in Washington this week. As I meet colleagues from many countries, I am constantly reminded of the challenges that international employers face when trying to implement their diversity initiatives in very different countries. In some areas of the world, promotion of women is culturally, and even legally, controversial. In other countries, racism and discrimination are institutionalized and condoned by the authorities.

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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