As the coronavirus, now officially named the “COVID-19 virus,” continues to spread across the world, employers are also looking to ensure a safe working environment for their employees. In addition to our previous perspectives for U.S. employers and EU employers, this updated overview provides employers in the rest of the Asia-Pacific (“APAC”) region with practical advice to develop their COVID-19 virus response strategy. Specifically, this overview covers the countries of: The People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. READ MORE
Laura L. Becking
As companies around the world expand and contract, they require expert guidance on the resulting HR and compensation issues. Laura Becking has devoted her career to facilitating this process. Her guidance empowers companies, regardless of size or stage, to align their workforce and business objectives.
Her practice is unique in the market. In addition to leading Orrick’s Global Employment & Equity Compensation practice; she is also integrated into the firm’s top-tier employment practice and compensation and benefits practice, enabling her to offer comprehensive solutions for the modern workplace.
Her strategies extend beyond regulations and compliance, into the company’s overall culture and societal nuances of their local workforce. By blending these elements, her targeted plans address a wide range of issues, including hiring, performance management, terminations, discrimination, reclassification, HR data privacy compliance, employee handbooks and policies. She also helps implement employee equity and other compensation and benefits arrangements outside the United States, and covers all aspects of securities, foreign exchange and tax filings triggered by such rollouts. Whether working with a pre-IPO start-up or an international corporation, Laura remains focused on her client’s human capital.
Laura’s distinctive approach places her in high demand for corporate transactions, in particular IPOs and acquisitions. She advised on the employment and/or equity compensation aspects of Facebook’s and Cisco’s global acquisitions; various global transactions for GoPro, Sabre, and Snap; the pre- and post-merger integration for DigiCert’s acquisition of Symantec’s Website Security Business; as well as the global acquisitions and global tender offers for a large number of pre-IPO clients. She has also advised companies such as Pinterest, Elasticsearch, GitHub, Nvidia, Optimizely, Scale, Splunk, Twist, Viasat, Vice and VMWare on global employment and equity compensation matters and transactions.
Posts by: Laura Becking
Market-by-Market Overview: COVID-19 Lockdowns
We’ve been following COVID-19 around the globe since January when it became clear that the outbreak in Wuhan, China was having broader employment and business implications. Under the general pattern, countries with a few confirmed cases act to contain the spread of the virus through a combination of inbound travel barriers, mandatory isolation/quarantines and aggressive testing and follow up of suspected contacts of the confirmed cases. If the number of new cases become too numerous to source (i.e., people are getting infected in the community), the focus shifts from containment to damage control in a predictable way. Lockdowns are part of that equation – often beginning with school closures, the ban of large gatherings and the cancelation of events, progressing to the closure of an increasing list of “non-essential businesses” and culminating in mandatory stay at home orders. READ MORE
Cross-Border Layoffs in the Wake of the COVID-19 International Pandemic
As bars, restaurants, theatres, sporting and entertainment events, gyms, casinos, movie theatres, and other establishments shutter globally in response to the COVID-19 pandemic many employers have been forced to consider immediate layoffs of their employees around the world in response to their businesses having been essentially shut down. Other employers, faced with the possibility of a looming global recession, are preparing for potential future international layoffs. Significant pitfalls await employers conducting layoffs (temporary or permanent) outside of the U.S., which are heavily regulated by law, including mandatory severance payments, notice periods and cumbersome processes. We discuss some of these pitfalls for selected countries outside the U.S. including Australia, China, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, Spain and the UK below and discuss some of the early responses by countries like Spain and Germany to create exceptions to the normal requirements. READ MORE
Market-by-Market Overview: Protecting Your Offices & Other Worksites From COVID-19
Please note: Government guidance and regulation is changing rapidly, and so it is important for employers to always check on the applicable government site and with the Orrick team on the latest information. Employers may refer to information on Orrick’s COVID-19 Resource Center that provides country-specific links. READ MORE
What to do When Working From Home Won’t Work?
If you’re like many this week you, your partner or roommates and your children of all ages may be working from home. Schools of all levels are closed and maybe have instituted distance learning. Day care centers are closed too. So are libraries, coffee shops, restaurants and other places remote workers go to think and work. Successful working is about more than just having good WiFi. So, what are the options if remote working is not working for your employees or they simply cannot do their job from home? READ MORE
AB 51 Update: Preliminary Injunction Granted
On Friday January 31, 2020, Judge Kimberly Mueller of the Eastern District of California granted a preliminary injunction blocking the enforcement of California Assembly Bill 51 (AB 51) to the extent it applies to arbitration agreements covered by the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. §§ 1-16. AB 51 makes it unlawful to require workers or job applicants to enter into mandatory arbitration agreements covering claims under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act or the California Labor Code as a condition of employment or to obtain employment benefits. READ MORE
Be Prepared Update on EU Employment Data Privacy Laws
Global companies face stricter rules on employee data privacy, in particular when using social media and internal monitoring tools. It also now becomes clearer that many EU Member States will use the opening clause of Art. 88 General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) to re-implement their “old” data privacy laws.
- Use of Social Media And Employee Analysis Tools Under GDPR
Recently, the Article 29 Working Party (“WP29”), the expert group of European data protection authorities, published its opinion on the upcoming changes relating to data privacy at the work place. It explains what employers should do for ensuring compliance with the GDPR and provides guidelines for the use of information found on social media platforms – such as Facebook or LinkedIn and for electronic monitoring of employees. READ MORE