A guide to hair discrimination laws and their impact on employer grooming codes in the US

This review of legislation and case law on hair and hair styling in the workplace in the US looks at recent state and federal anti-discrimination initiatives and gives guidance to employers on how to adapt their dress code and grooming policies. Executive summary Many have said that the workplace tends to be society’s battlefield, where culture wars play out and emerging trends go up against long-established…

Detached Workers in the UK and the EU: What's new about social security contributions

In a welcome move last week, the EU notified the UK that all EU countries will apply the ‘detached workers’ exception to UK employees who are temporarily seconded to work in the EU. Similarly, the UK will apply the detached workers exception for EU employees who are temporarily seconded to work in the UK. This article reviews the latest position. Under the Social Security Co-ordination…

Requirement for COVID-19 testing of travelling employees introduced in Denmark

A bill adopted by the Danish parliament requires employers to ensure that travelling employees are PCR-tested for COVID-19 after entry into Denmark. There are currently strict restrictions on entry to Denmark due to coronavirus. Now, after being fast-tracked through parliament, a bill has been passed to reduce the risk of travelling employees bringing COVID-19 infection with them.  With the adopted bill, employers who employ workers travelling into Denmark to work are required…

Code of Practice on preventing workplace bullying in Ireland: how should employers respond?

This article reviews the main points employers should consider in a new Code of Practice for Employers and Employees on the Prevention and Resolution of Bullying at Work that came into effect in Ireland last month. The new Code replaces two previous documents on this topic. One had exactly the same title and the other was called the Code of Practice Detailing Procedures for Addressing Bullying in…

Executive Order combatting discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community: what do US-employers need to know?

Within hours of his inauguration on 20 January 2021, President Biden signed his Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation. The Executive Order establishes the new administration’s policy prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation, and directs federal agencies to take affirmative steps to secure these rights.   The Executive Order commits to enforcing the…

Free speech and the US First Amendment: where it is implicated, and where it is not

The right to free speech is protected by the First Amendment in the US, but what does this mean for private employers and employees? This article provides guidance on this topical question in the wake of the unrest at the US Capitol on 6 January.  In the wake of the 6 January 2021 unrest at the United States Capitol Building and several social media outlets…

Long Covid: what implications does it have for employers in the UK?

This article explores the growing phenomenon of ‘Long Covid’: the continuation of serious symptoms and effects for a significant period after a person’s initial COVID-19 infection and illness. Is disability discrimination law likely to apply in this context in the UK and how should employers approach this issue?  The COVID-19 virus was first identified in China towards the end of 2019 and, a year or so…

Vaccination for COVID-19: can employers in the UK require their employees to be vaccinated?

With a vaccination against coronavirus in sight, many employers will understandably be eager to have their employees vaccinated in hope of their workplace finally returning to some form of normality. This article explores some of the legal issues.  Can employers provide the vaccination to their employees?   The government’s medical experts have published an outline of how any vaccine will be rolled out. It is clear…

Rewarding employees: new clarity on benefit plan rules in Italy

The Italian Tax Authority has released new guidance clarifying how employers can use benefit packages to reward employees. In particular, the Authority has ruled that plans cannot be used to reward individual performance but only to retain employees and distribute company profits.  Employee benefit packages have a growing impact on companies’ management of their resources and local tax authorities have to deal with the fiscal impact of these packages more and more. The Italian Tax Authority (Risoluzione n….

Can an employer in France dismiss an employee for private Facebook content? Yes, if there is no subterfuge

The French Cour de Cassation has confirmed that an employer could dismiss an employee based on a private Facebook post that breached her confidentiality obligations, because the way it had found out about the post did not involve subterfuge or trickery.   Background In April 2014, an employee working in sales in the clothing company Petit Bateau attended a fashion show presenting the future spring-summer…