Littler Names Three Co-Chairs to Business and Human Rights Practice Group

Stefan Marculewicz, John Kloosterman and Michael Congiu to lead group as companies face increased scrutiny surrounding the human rights impacts of their operations

(February 17, 2016) – Littler, the world’s largest employment and labor law practice representing management, has named shareholders Stefan Marculewicz (Washington, D.C.), John Kloosterman (San Francisco and Toronto) and Michael Congiu (Chicago and Minneapolis) as co-chairs of the firm’s Business and Human Rights Practice Group.

“Stefan, John and Mike each bring impressive experience in this rapidly developing area,” said Tom Bender and Jeremy Roth, co-managing directors of Littler, in a joint statement. “Several national and global developments have focused on creating broader corporate accountability for human rights. Stefan, John and Mike’s leadership has been critical in helping our clients assess the human rights impacts of their operations and develop strategies and policies to stay ahead of the evolving regulatory landscape.”

With a strong International Employment Law practice and more than 70 offices spanning three continents, Littler has long advised multinational companies on a full array of cross-border employment matters. As labor relations issues have become increasingly globalized and greater attention has been placed on corporate responsibility for protecting human rights, Marculewicz, Kloosterman and Congiu have led the firm’s efforts to counsel clients on international labor standards and business and human rights issues.

Marculewicz, Kloosterman and Congiu take the helm of Littler’s Business and Human Rights practice against the backdrop of several national and international developments impacting companies in this area. Following the 2011 adoption of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP), the U.N. is working to broaden remedies available to human rights victims via corporate entities. Littler recently worked with the International Organisation of Employers to help ensure the voice of the corporate community is heard as this U.N. initiative moves forward.

In addition to global developments, human rights litigation involving global companies under the Alien Tort Claims Act and U.S. government actions are bringing new challenges for employers. The amendments to the Federal Acquisition Regulation that took effect last year imposed unprecedented requirements on government contractors to ensure their operations are free from trafficking and the White House is in the process of developing a national action plan to create broader U.S. alignment with the UNGP.

About Stefan Marculewicz

Marculewicz advises multinational corporations on issues involving employer efforts to address and respond to international labor standards. He regularly counsels clients on the development of global labor relations strategies, supply chain management systems, corporate codes of social responsibility and human rights policies. Marculewicz also advises multinational enterprises on issues involving the UNGP and numerous international labor standard-setting organizations, including the International Labour Organization (ILO) and its Committee on Freedom of Association, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the U.N. Global Compact.

About John Kloosterman

Kloosterman focuses his practice on international labor and employment issues, international labor standards, labor-management relations and complex litigation. He has wide ranging experience negotiating and drafting international labor standards and advising on compliance issues. Kloosterman also provides counsel on human rights issues that affect business, including supply chain matters, codes of conduct and compliance with self-governance initiatives. He currently serves as the U.S. employer delegate to the ILO and on the ILO’s Committee on the Application of Standards. Kloosterman has also served as an ILO expert on forced labor and human trafficking.

About Michael Congiu

Congiu has significant experience advising clients on international labor standards, global union federations and business and human rights. He regularly counsels multinational employers on issues relating to the ILO and its Committee on Freedom of Association, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the UNGP and the U.N. Global Compact. He is a frequent speaker on topics relating to international labor standards and business and human rights issues.

About Littler

Littler is the largest global employment and labor law practice, with more than 1,000 attorneys in over 70 offices worldwide. Littler represents management in all aspects of employment and labor law and serves as a single-source solution provider to the global employer community. Consistently recognized in the industry as a leading and innovative law practice, Littler has been litigating, mediating and negotiating some of the most influential employment law cases and labor contracts on record for over 70 years. Littler Global is the collective trade name for an international legal practice, the practicing entities of which are separate and distinct professional firms.