L&E Global News

Harmers wins Gold Medal in Employment Law in the HRD Service Provider Awards 2017

13 Dec 2017

L&E Global is proud to announce that our member firm in Australia, Harmers Workplace Lawyers , was selected as the gold medal winner in the inaugural Human Resources Director (“HRD“) magazine’s HR Service Provider Awards. Judged by a panel of senior HR Directors, these awards seek to recognise HRs most valued business partners across Australia.

HRD highlighted that, “Gold winner Harmers Workplace Lawyers has been a pioneer in this space and has won multiple accolades for exceptional services to clients since its establishment 21 years ago. The firm’s people and workplace (P&W) team has focused on providing advice that is both innovative and valuable in the face of the rapid transformation they are seeing in the way workplaces function. A unique point of difference to competitors is that they challenge the historical approach of getting employment lawyers involved only at the point of escalation, instead shifting their client’s focus towards risk management and promoting positive culture in the workplace, as well as anticipating issues and working strategically with a client before matters escalate. One judge noted: “I’m impressed with the depth of knowledge shown by the Harmers team. It’s something I appreciate as an HR director: in-depth knowledge of my business and what we do.”

Michael Harmer, Chairman & Senior Team Leader at Harmers Workplace Lawyers, was gracious in his acceptance, saying, “We extend our sincere gratitude to our clients who enable us to undertake the worthwhile work we do.”

Harmers’ unique approach to client services and the firm’s expertise in employment law, both nationally and across borders, is a hallmark of L&E Global’s commitment to deliver consistent, high-quality legal services to employers wherever they operate.

 

 

For more information please contact Joseph Granato, Communications Manager at L&E Global at .



Harmers Workplace Lawyers Sponsors the 7th Annual Ron McCallum Debate (Webcast)

22 Nov 2017

Sponsored by Harmers Workplace Lawyers and hosted by the Australian Institute of Employment Rights (AIER), the 7th Annual Ron McCallum Debate was held at the Dr Chau Chak Wing Building at UTS on Wednesday 25 October 2017.

This year’s debate challenged whether Australia’s workplace relations system is broken; and provided varying perspectives on the best way forward. The debate was moderated by former FWA and AIRC President, the Honourable Geoffrey Giudice AO, with Emeritus Professor Ron McCallum AO providing his reflections. The panel discussion featured: Jo Schofield, National Secretary of United Voice; Stephen Cartwright, Chief Executive Officer of NSW Business Chamber; Dr Sarah Kaine, Associate Professor at UTS and Lina Cabaero-Ponnambalam, Coordinator, Asian Women at Work.

Please use the following link to view the webcast: http://harmers.com.au/news-centre/webcasts/

 

 

For more information please contact Joseph Granato, Communications Manager at L&E Global at .



Van Olmen & Wynant’s Employment Law Forum: The New Re-integration Procedure for Long-term Ill Employees

21 Nov 2017

Van Olmen & Wynant (L&E Global Belgium), together with the Belgian Institute for Company Lawyers (IJE | IBJ), recently hosted a successful bilingual (Dutch and French) Employment Law Forum, attended by some 60 HR managers and in-house counsels.

Following an introduction by Chris Van Olmen (founding partner of Van Olmen & Wynant and head of the employment law practice) the forum included a series of discussions on the trending topic: “the new re-integration procedure for long-term ill employees.”.

The Belgian government aims to guide long-term ill employees towards (a quicker) work resumption, possibly in an adapted or different job. For this purpose, a new re-integration procedure was created, which entered into force on January 1st, 2017.

Miet Vanhegen, PhD researcher at KU Leuven, led the audience through the different steps in the re-integration procedure. Who can launch the procedure? How is a re-integration assessment carried out? What are the possible outcomes of the procedure?

Afterwards, Gautier Busschaert, attorney at Van Olmen & Wynant, shared some insight on the consequenses of the re-integration procedure on the employment relationship. He highlighted the impact of exercising an adapted or altogether different job function on the indemnity in lieu of notice, the payment of the wage and the dismissal of the worker.

Van Olmen & Wynant’s Employment Law Forums exemplify L&E Global’s commitment to provide clients with the practical knowledge to guide them through the labyrinth of modern employment law challenges that impact the workplace.

 

 

For more information please contact Joseph Granato, Communications Manager at L&E Global at .



26th Annual Readers’ Choice Awards names Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti Best Employment Law Firm

07 Nov 2017

Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti’s Hamilton, Ontario office was voted the Platinum Winner in the Employment Law Firm category in the Hamilton Spectator’s 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards.

Hamilton Spectator readers also chose Hamilton partner, Jane Gooding, as one of the top three employment lawyers in the region. Jane was called to the Ontario bar in 2006 and practices exclusively in labour, human rights and disability law. She is a member of the Hamilton Lawyers’ Club, the Hamilton Law Association and the Human Resources Professionals Association. She is also active in the community, serving as Vice-Chair of Today’s Family Board of Directors and on the YWCA Hamilton Women of Distinction Committee.

 

 

For more information please contact Joseph Granato, Communications Manager at L&E Global at .



Jamie Knight named Canadian HR Reporter’s 2017 Employment Lawyer of the Year

07 Nov 2017

Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti is proud to announce that senior partner, Jamie Knight, has been named Canadian HR Reporter’s 2017 Employment Lawyer of the Year, as selected by Canadian Lawyer Magazine.

Jamie has over 30 years of experience representing management in labour and employment law. He has authored or co-authored some 20 publications for human resources professionals and lawyers, most of them in multiple editions, including the Employment Litigation Manual, Halsbury’s Laws of Canada; Labour, and Accommodation in the Workplace, as well as several Quick Reference Guides to key labour and employment legislation.

Jamie is Past-President of the Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers (“CACE”). He has been on the Board of Directors since 2008; he was Chair of the Human Rights Committee from 2010 to 2015 and Co-Chair of the 2011 CACE Conference.

In addition to his most recent award, Jamie has a prestigious Band 1 Chambers and Partners ranking for both Canada and Global, and he has, for many years, maintained high rankings in other respected sources, including the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (Employment Law and Labour Relations), the Martindale-Hubbell Directory, and Best Lawyers.

Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cI0yyzKRcPQ

 

 

For more information please contact Joseph Granato, Communications Manager at L&E Global at .



Pusch Wahlig Legal is the Employment Law Firm of the Year 2017 in Germany

27 Oct 2017

L&E Global is proud to announce that our member firm in Germany, PUSCH WAHLIG LEGAL, was awarded “Employment Law Firm of the Year” by JUVE at the Alte Oper Frankfurt on 26 October 2017. Law firms and in-house teams that distinguished themselves this year with their expertise, strategic and service focus and future potential were honored in 18 categories at the event.

The decision by the JUVE journalists to honor PUSCH WAHLIG LEGAL as “Employment Law Firm of the Year” is based on their “impressive development”. The law firm is characterized by “a clever expansion, international ambitions and strategic foresight”. In the past year, the firm established a strong location in Frankfurt with Dr. Dirk Freihube and Dr. Holger Thomas and thus strengthened their national presence. PUSCH WAHLIG LEGAL continuously “demonstrates their spirit of innovation” and “on an international level, the firm has done an excellent job” by collaborating with the international alliance L&E Global.

“This award means a lot to us,” said Dr. Tobias Pusch, managing partner at PUSCH WAHLIG LEGAL. “For us, this is proof of our excellent work and the unique spirit of the whole team. We have dared innovations with the law firm meeting our clients’ and employees’ requirements. The overall positive feedback from the market confirms that we are on the right track.”

The JUVE awards are considered the most prestigious awards in the German legal industry. The basis for the chosen nominees and winners of the JUVE awards is the comprehensive research of the independent editors of the JUVE guide for corporate law firms. This guide has been published since 1999 and is the most comprehensive and detailed reference work in the German legal market.

PUSCH WAHLIG LEGAL was honored with the AZUR award 2017 in the category “Diversity” and was named “Top Employment Law Firm” by the German business magazine “Wirtschaftswoche”. The boutique has already been nominated by JUVE as “Labor Law Firm of the Year in Germany” in 2008 and 2011 as well as for the “Founding Period Award” 2009. Since 2013, the law firm has been honored as a “Top Commercial Law Firm” by FOCUS.

The recognition bestowed upon PUSCH WAHLIG LEGAL by JUVE is a testament to L&E Global’s strategic promise to, through the labour and employment law experts of our member firms, help clients navigate legal and business challenges, both nationally and across borders.

 

 

For more information please contact Joseph Granato, Communications Manager at L&E Global at [YjY0dGFnOmpvc2VwaC5ncmFuYXRvQGxlZ2xvYmFsLm9yZw==]



Van Olmen & Wynant and the IJE | IBJ host an Employment Law Forum: “The Motivation of Dismissal”

13 Oct 2017

Van Olmen & Wynant (L&E Global Belgium), together with the Belgian Institute for Company Lawyers (IJE | IBJ), recently hosted a successful bilingual (Dutch and French) Employment Law Forum, attended by some 70 HR managers, in-house counsels, academics and magistrates from across the country.

Following an introduction by Chris Van Olmen (founding partner of Van Olmen & Wynant and head of the employment law practice) the forum included a series of discussions on the trending topic: the motivation of dismissal in the private and public sectors.

Since the entering into force on April 1st, 2014 of the Collective Labor Agreement n° 109 (Motivation of Dismissal), applicable to the private sector, more than 109 judgements have been rendered. Hence, the title of this seminar: 109 times CLA n° 109.

Thomas De Jongh and Karel Devloo, both attorneys at Van Olmen & Wynant, had, based upon an analysis of case law, shed light on the first tendencies in the private sector: are some reasons for dismissal riskier than others? In how many cases was the employer condemned and what was the amount of the indemnity? Are there any significant differences between the regions in Belgium?

Afterwards, Vincent Vuylsteke, attorney at Van Olmen & Wynant, analysed the situation in the public sector, where legislative intervention is still pending and where the situation remains uncertain (some judges find inspiration in CLA n° 109, others refuse to do so; the high courts have rendered decisions that are difficult to reconcile, with regards to the obligation to hear the public worker before the dismissal, etc….)

Van Olmen & Wynant’s Employment Law Forums exemplify L&E Global’s commitment to provide clients with the practical knowledge to guide them through the labyrinth of modern employment law challenges that impact the workplace.

For more information please contact Joseph Granato, Communications Manager at L&E Global at .



L&E Global Launches Interactive Global Handbook 2017 E-Guide

10 Oct 2017

Brussels – 10 October 2017: L&E Global’s member firms are pleased to present you with our very first interactive E-Guide (http://eguide.leglobal.org/eic/) of our 2017 Global Handbook, which serves as an introduction to the complex issue of employees vs independent contractors, with analyses from 32 key jurisdictions, across 6 continents. The benefit of the e-guide is twofold: (1) we protect the environment by saving on printing, paper and shipping and (2) the content can be kept up-to-date at all times.

In recent years, the use of independent contractors has increased significantly. There has also been an increase in the use of fixed-term contracts, temporary commercial agency agreements and labour outsourcing services. This trend is not without its risks. For employers with operations in multiple jurisdictions, successfully entering into a working relationship, whether with an employee or an independent contractor, is a very real challenge and one that impacts every sector of industry, in every region of the world.

This comprehensive publication is a valuable resource for HR professionals, employment and corporate attorneys, academics and jurists and is a testament to the L&E Global alliance’s commitment to offering clients the most comprehensive legal analysis capabilities and insight from across the globe, now and in the future.

We hope you find this publication to be of great value to you and your enterprise and please contact L&E Global, or one of our member firms, if we can be of assistance.

Sincerely,
The L&E Global Alliance



EMPLOYEES vs INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS

05 Oct 2017

To help our clients through the labyrinth of the modern workforce with different approaches in different jurisdictions, L&E Global is proud to present the first e-guide version of our 2017 Global Handbook. The publication which serves as an introduction to the complex issue of employees vs independent contractors, with analyses from 32 key jurisdictions, across 6 continents.

Please CLICK HERE to visit our online, interactive E-Guide, where you can browse laws in multiple jurisdictions, peruse country-specific chapters or download the complete publication. If you would like to receive a hardcopy of the Global Handbook 2017 please contact us at and include your name, address and company name or industry sector (if applicable) and we will gladly send you a copy by post.

We hope you find the eguide of interest and look forward to receiving your feedback.



European Court Rules on Employee Monitoring Programs and Privacy

22 Sep 2017

The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) issued its decision in the case of Bărbulescu v. Romania (application no. 61496/08) on September 5, an appeal from a determination by the Romanian courts upholding an employee’s termination for personal use of the employer’s computer system.

The Court held that the Romanian courts violated Article 8 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in failing to establish the relevant facts and perform an adequate balancing exercise between the applicant’s right to respect for his private life and correspondence and the employer’s interests. While the Convention does not apply directly to employers, the effect of the decision is that disciplinary actions in European Union countries based on personal use of company electronic media will be vulnerable if the facts do not satisfy the balancing considerations outlined by the Court.

Background
Bogdan Bărbulescu, a citizen of Romania, worked for a private company in Bucharest. In 2007, the company requested that Bărbulescu establish a Yahoo Messenger account for the specific purpose of responding to client inquiries. In July 2007, the company informed Bărbulescu that it had been monitoring his Yahoo Messenger account and that its records indicated he had been using the account for personal use. Bărbulescu denied the personal use, but when confronted with proof, including chat transcripts with his brother and fiancée on personal matters, he claimed invasion of privacy. Shortly after, his employment was terminated.

Bărbulescu challenged his termination in the Romanian courts, where his case was dismissed.

Eventually, Bărbulescu’s case reached the Chamber of the ECHR, a seven-judge panel, on the issue of whether the company’s monitoring of its employees violated Article 8 of the Convention, which requires respect for an individual’s private and family life, home, and correspondence. The Chamber, in a 6-1 decision, held that, although Article 8 was applicable, it had not been violated because Bărbulescu had not explained why his Yahoo Messenger account was being used for personal purposes and nothing indicated that the Romanian courts failed to strike a proper balance. “It is not unreasonable for an employer to want to verify that the employees are completing their professional tasks during their working hours,” the Chamber observed.

Grand Chamber Decision
The Grand Chamber, the appellate division of the ECHR, overturned the Chamber’s decision. In an 11-6 ruling, the 17-judge panel concluded that member states have a positive obligation under Article 8. This obligation requires national authorities to confirm that employers with an employee monitoring system also are implementing “adequate and sufficient” safeguards.

The Grand Chamber advised national authorities to consider the following criteria (PDF) when assessing an employer’s monitoring system:

Whether the employee has been notified of the possibility that the employer might take measures to monitor correspondence and other communications. The extent of the monitoring by the employer and the degree of intrusion into the employee’s privacy. Whether the employer has provided legitimate reasons to justify monitoring the communications and accessing their actual content. Whether it would have been possible to establish a monitoring system based on less intrusive methods and measures than directly accessing the content of the employee’s communications. The consequences of the monitoring for the employee concerned and the use made by the employer of the results of the monitoring operation. Whether the employee has been provided with adequate safeguards, especially when the employer’s monitoring operations are of an intrusive nature.

The Grand Chamber’s decision in Bărbulescu highlights that it can be lawful to monitor an employee’s communications, but that must be done with deference to the factors set forth above.

The employer must ensure that it provides clear advance notification of its policies on personal use of company electronic facilities and its reservation of the right to monitor the employee’s use and to access communications. Monitoring also should be proportionate to the needs of the investigation and sensitive to unnecessary intrusion on privacy.

It is important to remember that national law can provide additional protections to employee’s use of company facilities beyond the standards outlined in the Court’s decision.

We can expect further refinements as this area of the law continues to change with advancements in monitoring technology.

By John L. Sander ©2017 Jackson Lewis P.C.
This Update is provided for informational purposes only, for details, visit Jackson Lewis publication.