L&E Global News

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.



Harmers wins the Lawyers Weekly 2017 Australian Law Awards

07 Sep 2017

Harmers Workplace Lawyers has been awarded the Lawyers Weekly 2017 Australian Law Awards “Workplace Relations and Employment Team of the Year”.

This award recognises the achievement of excellence and leadership in practice for workplace relations and employment teams. The category is open to all law firms in Australia, both employment practices within multidisciplinary firms and specialist workplace relations law firms. Chairman, Michael Harmer, said the award is a testament to the Firm’s cohesive team approach, the high calibre and commitment of Harmers’ outstanding lawyers and support staff, and the L&E Global alliance, which enables Harmers to participate in cross-border employment law work.

“Harmers is thrilled with this recognition from Lawyers Weekly, the judges and the Australian business community. We extend our sincere gratitude to our clients who enable us to undertake the worthwhile work we do. We have seen significant growth in our corporate advisory practice over the past 12 months, with both complex workplace relations litigation and WHS matters. The firm has also continued to act in many of Australia’s most high profile workplace relations cases” said Mr Harmer.

Harmers was also a finalist in the “Dispute Resolution” and “Boutique Law firm of the Year” categories; and Senior Associate, Amy Zhang, was an individual finalist in the “Senior Associate of the Year” category.

The 17th Annual Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards was held at The Star on Friday 1 September 2017 and attended by 700 legal industry professionals.



Pusch Wahlig Legal nominated by JUVE as Employment Law Firm of the Year 2017

25 Aug 2017

Pusch Wahlig Legal was recently nominated by JUVE for “Employment Law Firm of the Year 2017”. JUVE is the leading German legal magazine that awards law firms that exhibit a particularly dynamic and positive development in the past year.

JUVE bases its decision on interviews with more than 20,000 contacts – among them clients, partners and next generation lawyers.

For the 17th year, JUVE honors law firms in 15 different categories for their outstanding work in a particular area of law or in a particular region. The award ceremony will take place on 26 October 2017.

This year, Pusch Wahlig Legal has already won the 2017 Azur Diversity Award for the part-time-models they introduced, the cultural diversity in the firm and the high percentage of women employed. Earlier this year, German magazines FOCUS and Wirtschaftswoche recognised Pusch Wahlig Legal as a Top Law Firm in Employment Law.

Dr. Tobias Pusch on the nomination: “We are very happy to be nominated as law firm of the year 2017 in employment law by JUVE. Our thanks go to our clients and to the Pusch Wahlig Legal team – they have made this recognition possible. We are pleased that the consistent development of our firm manifests itself in being nominated by JUVE for now the fourth time.”

 

 

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



Frances Gallop and Angela Rae honoured by the Lexpert Zenith Awards 2017: Celebrating Women in Law

09 Aug 2017

L&E Global is proud to announce that Frances Gallop and Angela Rae, Partners at our L&E Global Canada member Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti, were honoured at the 2017 Lexpert Zenith Awards, an annual celebration of women lawyers.

“This year’s Zenith winners are lawyers who have advanced the position of women in the profession and society by leading firms, starting firms, and making ground-breaking contributions to pro bono and charitable organizations.”



Céline Defay joins KLEYR | GRASSO

31 Jul 2017

KLEYR | GRASSO (L&E Global Luxembourg) is pleased to announce that Céline Defay recently joined the firm’s employment and social law department as Counsel.

With more than 10 years of experience in employment law, Céline advises her clients on matters relating to employment law litigation, employment contracts, redundancies, settlement agreements, workplace harassment and discrimination, and verifies the company’s compliance with Luxembourg employment law regulations.

Prior to joining KLEYR | GRASSO, Céline was part of a Luxembourgish law firm, where she was responsible for employment litigation.

 

 

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



FWTA Webinar: The Changing Workplaces Review: What it Means for Employers

08 Jun 2017

Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti LLP, L&E Global’s member firm in Canada, is pleased to invite you to an upcoming webinar on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 on “The Changing Workplaces Review: What it Means for Employers”.

The Webinar is scheduled from 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m., local time in Toronto – Eastern Standard Time (UTC-05:00).

To register for this free online webinar via Webex, please CLICK HERE.

About the Topic

Sweeping changes to Ontario’s employment and labour laws were recommended in the final report of the Changing Workplaces Review, which the Ontario Government released on May 23, 2017. If adopted, the recommendations from the report would result in the most significant reforms to labour and employment law in over 30 years.

Early indications suggest that the Government intends to move ahead with significant reforms. By the time our seminar takes place, we expect to know much more about the Government’s intentions. Senior partners Rob Bayne and Jamie Knight will bring you right up to date with the most current information and our projections as to “what’s next”.

The upcoming seminar will:

-Review the most significant changes recommended in the review;
-Bring you up to date with the most recent developments since the Review’s release
-Identify key legal concerns regarding the implementation of these recommendations; and
-Offer practical insights into how these recommendations might affect employers.

 

 

If you require more information regarding the seminar, please email  or contact Joseph Granato, Communications Manager at L&E Global at .

 



L&E Global publishes 2017 Global Handbook | Employees vs Independent Contractors

25 Apr 2017

Understanding The Distinction Between Contractors And Employees And The Re-Characterisation Of A Contractor Into An Employee

With our clients in mind, and to help them through the labyrinth of the modern workforce with different approaches in different jurisdictions, L&E Global is proud to present our 2017 Global Handbook, which serves as an introduction to the complex issue of employees vs independent contractors, with analysis from 32 key jurisdictions, across 6 continents.

For the 4th year in a row, L&E Global has published its annual global handbook especially for our valued clients. Since we last touched upon the issue of employees vs independent contractors and the consequences of the re-characterisation of a contractor into an employee back in 2014, there has been a universal effort to eliminate “sham” contracts, which seek to hide the true nature of the relationship as an employer and employee agreement.

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. The rise of the on-demand sharing economy (online business transactions) in areas such as carpooling, apartment/home lending, peer-to-peer lending, reselling, co-working and talent-sharing and the enterprises that drive these new workforces, has led to an increase in litigation, with the qualification of the contracts and work agreements as the central issue.

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.

View and download your copy here:

If you wish to receive your personal hard copy version, or if you have any questions, please contact us directly at .