After my previous blog post regarding recent labor enforcement actions taken under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (“USMCA”) impacting U.S. companies with facilities or subsidiaries in Mexico, I received questions regarding employer rights under Mexican labor law.
Within the last few months, U.S. employers doing business in Mexico have felt the effects of the enforcement mechanisms of the “U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement” (“USMCA”).
The ‘gig’ economy has been the subject of much commentary in recent times, particularly with regard to the legal status of its workers.
On June 17, 2021, in Nestle USA Inc. v. Doe, the United States Supreme Court reversed a Ninth Circuit decision that would have allowed foreign cocoa workers to pursue claims against Nestlé USA, Inc. (Nestle), Cargill, Inc. (Cargill) and others for alleged human rights abuses committed by foreign suppliers under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS).
Lockdowns have fueled a surge in food-delivery businesses, so the initial public offering (“IPO”) of Deliveroo plc (“Deliveroo”) — a UK equivalent to DoorDash Inc. — on the London Stock Exchange was highly anticipated. But on its first day of public trading, Deliveroo’s stock dropped over 25%.
With Uber being the poster child of the gig economy, last week’s decision by the UK Supreme Court inevitably made waves when it dismissed the appeal in Uber v. Aslam and upheld an employment tribunal’s decision that Uber drivers are “workers.” Here’s a quick breakdown of what it all means and how significant it is.
While there are many things that distinguish American employment law from that of other modern democracies — including, for example, the lack of a “code” or a cohesive set of laws, the dichotomy between “labor” and “employment” laws, and the interrelationship between health insurance and employment law — the thing that most distinguishes American employment law is the “at-will” doctrine.
For lawyers, in-house or firm, a client’s alleged involvement in human trafficking or modern slavery can be devastating not only to the client, but also to the in-house lawyer’s position and the reputation of the lawyer’s firm.
Human rights are increasingly the subject of a range of requirements under both “hard” law — such as the mandatory obligations promulgated by governments regarding conflict mineral restrictions, forced labor prohibitions, and supply chain management under, e.g., Dodd-Frank in the U.S., the Modern Slavery Act in the UK, and the Corporate Duty of Vigilance Law in France — and “soft” law, which covers more jussive norms established by industry, civil society, etc. (e.g. the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights or the private corporate governance of organizations such as the International Council on Mining and Minerals). New legal standards continuously develop, such as with current calls for the recognition of environmental rights within the field of human rights.
In the past, U.S. and Canadian courts have not been receptive to litigation of human rights issues solely related to plaintiffs who are neither citizens of nor located in either country.
In the United States, we are preparing for a very different Thanksgiving celebration than normal. However, while our gatherings may be more limited, we need to not forget the central theme of Thanksgiving.