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Trends and Changes Arising from COVID-19: Managing Employment Issues in 2021 at Singapore and US Workplaces
March 9, 2021 | Trent M. Sutton
Labor and employment law issues have become as globalized as the world of business and commerce. With the pervasiveness of the Internet and social media, when a business employment practice is singled out and challenged in one location the repercussions can be felt around the globe. Through an integrated worldwide strategy, Littler brings together practitioners experienced in local and cross-border labor and employment matters to provide seamless client service across national boundaries.
Littler’s international employment and labor law practice can help multinational clients maneuver through the best of economic times, as well as during unstable periods. We help global clients adapt to the maze of employment laws, taking into account the varied economic circumstances and customs throughout the world.
We advise Fortune Global 500 companies on the full array of labor and employment issues, including managing independent contractors, litigating and arbitrating cross-border employment claims, drafting executive contracts, assisting with workforce reductions, and assessing and drafting global ethics and data privacy policies. We also advise medium- and smaller-sized companies making their first international ventures, as well as those that are expanding their overseas operations. We assist clients in developing the framework to operate internationally with employees in various countries, whether they are on temporary assignment or have longer-term expatriate arrangements.
We are proud to have practitioners with vast experience in international employment law on our team. A number of our lawyers have served as in-house counsel for major international corporations, while others have practiced employment law in various countries. Still others have assisted companies with cross-border labor issues, including global labor relations matters, international compensation and benefits issues, multijurisdictional data privacy projects and global workforce reductions.
Littler’s offices now span four continents – North America, South America, Europe and Asia – and include teams in: Austria, Belgium, Brazil (correspondent counsel), Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, France, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Poland, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States and Venezuela. The firm’s global capabilities also include lawyers who are qualified practitioners in Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa, among other countries. They often work with leading attorneys in jurisdictions worldwide to provide clients global legal services with a single point of contact.
We provide advice on international matters including:
International companies with staff in the United States face unique challenges, including numerous federal, state and local labor laws and a fluid, multilayered regulatory environment. International employers can be vulnerable to disputes and lawsuits, but they also have special rights under Friendship, Commerce & Navigation Treaties. There are also common law rights that recognize the unique problems of companies that transfer expatriates across borders and are required to adapt their workplace to the special demands of U.S. employment laws.
Many of our lawyers have years of experience assisting foreign-based corporations in complying with and adapting their workplace practices to U.S. law. We provide practical advice and training programs to help companies address labor and employment challenges they may encounter in the United States. These include claims of sexual harassment and discrimination, as well as allegations related to citizenship, ethnicity or national origin.
We draft employment agreements and secondment agreements, customize employee handbooks and policies and provide advice regarding leadership and succession planning for U.S. sites. We also have years of experience litigating when necessary.
Littler attorneys are dedicated to serving our clients. A Knowledge Management group provides attorneys with the ability to access and harness collective knowledge and provide that information to clients through an array of tools, products and services that are available 24 hours per day, seven days a week. With these resources, the team can provide updates on the latest developments in employment law and assist clients in responding to those changes. Clients can subscribe to services such as Littler GPS®, which provides access to state-by-state comparisons and tracks state and federal employment-law related legislation and regulations.
Littler attorneys have significant experience in both employment law issues that companies have faced for decades, as well as those that are emerging in this dynamic area. For example, the rules of discovery in litigation have expanded to include electronic communication, such as email, voicemail, text messages and instant messaging. Littler is one of few law practices with an eDiscovery practice to help clients navigate the rules that govern the preservation of this evidence and its admission at trial.
A hallmark of Littler’s practice is our employment law training and coaching services. Our team of experienced employment law counsel and instructional designers develop engaging training programs tailored to suit our clients’ needs. These can be conducted in person or online, and with an individual or in a group. We have developed multilingual programs for managers from outside the United States to adapt to U.S. laws and human relations expectations, as well as programs to help U.S. managers adjust to laws in other countries.
To complement these services, The Littler International Guide provides a comprehensive, comparative analysis of international employment and labor laws for corporate counsel, cross-border legal practitioners, and HR professionals. Written by selected attorneys and scholars from around the globe and edited by the attorneys of Littler's International Practice Group, the Guide is organized in a question-and-answer format and covers 45 countries/territories.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the following reports are also available: COVID-19 Vaccination is a compilation focused on the legal and practical implications in the workplace related to the vaccine. It covers over 75 jurisdictions across the world and was published in April 2021. COVID-19: The New Normal is a report designed to help employers adapt their operations to new governmental measures adopted in over 40 jurisdictions across the world. It was published in September 2020.
We are pleased to present The Littler Global Guide – an online portal providing in-depth information and analysis of a broad range of international employment and labor law issues. Authored by legal practitioners and scholars from around the world, The Littler Global Guide covers workplace law topics in over 40 countries/territories, across six continents. This new format for drawing on Littler’s International practice and experience enables readers to drill down into one country’s law or compile a country-to-country comparison on a single topic.
Request complimentary access at globalguide.littler.com.
In addition, Littler conducts conferences and a series of internationally focused webinars for our clients. These feature some of Littler’s top attorneys and a select group of employment lawyers from around the world to discuss the most pressing issues in international employment and labor law. Attendees say that these programs provide critical insights into global trends, as well as an informative introduction to legal concerns and workplace sensitivities before entering a new commercial market.
March 9, 2021 | Trent M. Sutton